Death is an incredibly difficult event to navigate. I don't want to touch the subject of anyone's death in this post because I understand how heavy the process of it, the moment it happens, and the aftermath of it all can be. Just like you I've experienced it.
Instead, I want to address the death that has to happen for growth to occur.
In this Growth Is Simple blog series, we've been thinking through and breaking down growth into simple ideas. The simpler you make growth, the easier it becomes. When you don't think of growth as something incredible and unachievable, but rather simple and achievable daily, it becomes something you're willing to pursue.
Growth is simple. I promise. And in the process of growth there is one event that can feel nearly crippling - death.
Your simple idea today is this: For growth to happen, something has to die.
John 12:24 (NKJV) 24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it
remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
Here goes Farmer Jesus again combining agricultural insight with spiritual depth. Always going with the simple, yet somehow still confounding those who consider themselves so wise.
Jesus is explaining here that for a harvest of grain to grow, the original seed has to die. If it is allowed to remain alive, it will remain alone, and no reproduction will occur. In most botanical settings this holds true. For growth to happen, the seed (or something in it) has to die.
In our personal growth, the same is true. If you want to grow, something has to die. This is easier said than done. Take it from me.
Over the years, before I began to experience major personal growth, there were milestones that took place - milestones of death.
For me, I've had harmful personal habits die. I've had arrogant desires die. I've even watched as old relationships died. And, just as in physical death, these deaths require a grieving period. It isn't painless to watch something die. It's difficult to let that addiction die so I can finally experience emotional and mental growth. It's difficult to let that desire for fried everything die so I can finally experience growth in my fitness levels. It's difficult to let that relationship die so I can finally experience personal growth. It's a loss. And in most cases that loss requires grief.
For you to grow, you have to be willing to let something else die. And the fastest way to let something die is to stop feeding it.
When a seed is planted into the ground, there's a time period where the seed itself receives all the nourishment. Then, as it lowers its roots and sprouts its small stalk, the outer protective shell of the seed will stop receiving anything that would provide it life so the sprout can begin to grow. Over time, that protective shell dies.
What are you feeding that is hindering your personal growth? What do you give time, resources, emotional investments, or other things to that continue to make you feel alone? Maybe it's time to make a list of the choices that need to change so you can stop feeding that habit. Maybe it's time to have a crucial conversation with that person that seems to only drain you. Maybe it's time to prepare to grieve, because it's time for something to die.
Maybe it's time for growth.