Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good Things Take Time To Grow

They say the definition of impatience is standing in front of a microwave oven screaming at it to hurry up!

I live in a semi-tropical country.  That means that by all comparisons, things grow fast.  In March I planted some trees from tiny little seeds around our parking area at our offices.  Now these trees are over 3 meters tall already.  Pretty fast, actually. 

But these trees are still not big enough to provide shade for my vehicle parked there.  When I look at them I think, "Hurry up!  Grow taller.  Grow bigger.  And do it now!"  I try to think of what fertilizer I can put on them to make them grow faster.  I am being impatient.

The truth is, good things take time to grow.  While I may wish for success overnight, I can't expect to plant a seed one day and get a tree the following day.  It just takes time.  Especially for things that grow.

You see, I could have constructed a shade roof for our parking area.  It would have been finished in less than a week and our vehciles would have been basking in shade for the past six months.  But that shade roof would never grow.  In fact, without a lot of maintenance it would probably be unusable in a couple years, depending on the materials I used. 

If I wait one more year my trees will provide better and cooler (as in temperature) shade than any roof I could build.  And they will continue to grow providing shade for decades to come.

That which is built can be big fast; that which is grown takes time.

So it is with disciples and church planting.  I could build a church.  It is growth by addition.  But I'd rather plant a seed by making a disciple and watch, over time, a church growth movement multiply far beyond my own influence.

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