Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 296 of our trek, and yesterday we hiked on the 16th trail of this trek, which was the Trail of Help. Today we will explore the importance of balance in all areas of our life as we hike the Trail of Cultivation.
There is a total of 18 trails on the trek, we call the Principles of Spiritual Growth, which is adapted from a short book written by Miles J. Stanford. These practical lessons were instrumental in my spiritual growth as a young man seeking to create and live my legacy. As we continue on each trail of our overall trek, I trust that you will also find this information valuable in your own life, regardless of where you happen to be on your faith trek. Each of the trails that we hike builds on the previous one, so if you miss any of our Wisdom-Trek, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen and read the daily journal.
We are recording our podcast from our studio at The Big House in Marietta, Ohio. There is a lot of activity in and around The Big House this week. Sunday afternoon I invested several hours varnishing the woodwork in the library. I have the trim on two more walls to apply the 2nd coat to, and then it is onto the floor. Hopefully, we will have the library completed by the end of this week, and then we will move onto the other front room, which we call the parlor.
Our pair of hawks have been extremely busy this week and spending more time near their nest, which is right outside of our upstairs office, so it is enjoyable watching them. We can’t tell if they have actually laid their eggs yet as we do see both of them still flying around, but there is usually one of them near or on the nest. The female is noticeably larger than the male of this particular pair. If this is the same pair of hawks as in previous years, this is either their 5th or 6th year using the same nest.
As spring is manifesting itself with daylight lasting longer, the temperature rising, and flowers blooming, it is time to start cultivating our gardens and fields in preparation for planting crops. As we head out on our hike for today, we want to explore this important concept of our spiritual lives on the Trail of Cultivation. This is the 17th of 18 trails, which makes up the trek we call…
The cultivation of good habits and character traits in all area of our lives is very important. As our children were growing up and still to this day, I emphasize the importance of balance in everything that we do or are involved in. There can be little question concerning the importance of balance. It is so vital in the mechanical, physical, aesthetic, and spiritual realms. Faulty balance often results in the breakdown and possible devastation to the surrounding area. This is true as we think about the cultivation and growing of crops in our spiritual lives.
In the agricultural world, there has to be the balance of the proper amount of rain, sun, nutrients, and temperature for proper growth to occur with any type of crop. When there is the proper balance, then the crops will produce a bountiful harvest that can be shared with many. As the crops are properly cultivated, all of its resources are initially used so that plant can grow to maturity. Once mature, it can then start producing what will later become the harvest.
It is the same with our spiritual lives. Each of us must be thoroughly cultivated before we can effectively cultivate others through us. As we are maturing, there will be areas of service that we can provide for God. It is important to realize, though, that until we are spiritually mature most of our service on the way to maturity is for our own development, not so much that of others. At first, as a growing believer we think, or would like to have others feel, that all our service is effective; but in time, we come to realize that the Lord is not doing so much through us as He is in us. Our Lord always concentrates on the greater need.
We are not saved to serve. We are matured to serve. Only to the extent, that cultivation reveals self for what it is are we in the position to assist others in their cultivation. We can best discover how to help cultivate others after we have been properly cultivated and understand ourselves as Proverbs 29:19 indicates, “As a face is reflected in water, so the heart reflects the real person.” Just as it takes a period of time for crops to mature and produce a harvest, to counterbalance knowledge of self, God enables us to mature over a period of time as mentioned in 2 Peter 3:18, “Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
As we mature spiritually, in our excitement as Christ followers, we are tempted to immediately pull or push others toward spiritual maturity, and then we wonder why they are so slow to learn and seemingly apathetic in their understanding and concern. We soon forget the many years it took, and the wandering in our wilderness ways that our Lord had to traverse with us in order to bring us over our Jordan and into Canaan.
Spiritual maturity takes time, and that timeline is different for each Christ follower. We need to allow God to cultivate us in our spiritual growth and maturity. Let us look at the example of Moses. Moses had all the wisdom of the Egyptians, yet his idea of delivering Israel was to slay an Egyptian! He had to be trained in God’s ways, which was spending forty years in Midian as a shepherd. After Moses had been cultivated sufficiently, he was sent back to Egypt. God said for him not to trouble about Israel but to go directly to Pharaoh, the cause of their chains. God didn’t train Israel at the first but a leader to lead Israel. God seeks to get leaders trained in the knowledge of His ways who will help lead His people.
To the extent that we learn how our Father has had to handle us through the years will we understand how He would have us share with others. We must be cultivated to be cultivators. It is not up to us to determine the spiritual growth timeline for another. We need to leave that in the hands of that master farmer. We cannot force growth in another person any more than we force an apple to grow and ripen before its time. If we try to force growth on another person, they will never mature properly or be able to live the rich and satisfying life that is possible.
Through the strength of Christ living in us, we are responsible for our growth, which should include walking a life of integrity before others, but we are not responsible for the growth of others. As the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:5-7, “After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow. It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.”
On our trek Principles for Spiritual Growth, today we learned the valuable lessons of growth on the Trail of Cultivation. We need to focus on becoming mature ourselves, and through our example and mentorship provide the proper cultivation for others to grow.
Tomorrow we finish up our current trek with the 18th trail, which is the Trail of Continuance. Every trail that we hike will help us to create and live our legacy each day. So, encourage your friends and family to join us, and then come along tomorrow for another day of our Wisdom-Trek, Creating a Legacy.
That will finish our podcast for today. As you enjoy your daily dose of wisdom, we ask you to help us grow Wisdom-Trek by sharing with your family and friends through email, Facebook, Twitter, or in person so they can come along with us each day.
Thank you for allowing me to be your guide, mentor, and most of all your friend as I serve you through the Wisdom-Trek podcast and journal each day.
As we take this trek together, let us always:
This is Guthrie Chamberlain reminding you to Keep Moving Forward, Enjoy Your Journey, and Create a Great Day Every Day! See you tomorrow!