Thank you for joining us for our 7 days a week, 7 minutes of wisdom podcast. This is Day 276 of our trek, and yesterday we are started on an extended trek that contains 18 different trails that we will hike. In order to keep them short, we may split some of the trails over two days. Our first trail was the Trail of Faith.
Today and tomorrow we will hike the Trail of Time. This trek is adapted from a short book called Principles of Spiritual Growth written by Miles J. Stanford. The truths contained in this book were instrumental in my spiritual growth as a young man seeking to create and live my legacy. I trust that you will find this trek valuable in your own life, regardless of your spiritual background or perspective. Each of the trails that we will hike builds on the previous one, so if you miss any of our Wisdom-Trek, please go to Wisdom-Trek.com to listen to them and read the daily journal.
We are recording our podcast from our studio at Home2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. This week is continuing the brisk pace that seems to be the norm for us in our workload. One company where I provide technical support has had an extra heavy caseload for the past month, so that has limited some of the time we had allocated for Wisdom-Trek journals and Your Life Plan Blueprint, but they still remain a very high priority for us.
I know that life gets in the way for all of us, but I try to make sure that I always fulfill previous commitments before moving onto new projects. We are thankful for the work we have to do and the ability to complete it effectively. Time is really the only finite commodity we have in our lives. How we effectively invest that time is very important.
That leads us to our hike for today on the Trail of Time. Let us start on our 2nd of 18 trails which will make up the trek we call…
It seems that most Christ followers, including myself, have difficulty in realizing and facing up to the unchangeable fact that God does not hurry in His development of our Christian life. He is working from and for eternity! So many feel they are not making progress in any area of life unless they are swiftly and constantly forging ahead. Now it is true that the new Christ follower often begins and continues for some time at a fast rate. But this will not continue if there is to be healthy growth and ultimate maturity. God Himself will modify the pace. This is important to see, since in most instances when it seems like a decline in growth begins to set in, it is not, as so many think, a matter of backsliding.
To paraphrase theologian John Darby, “It is God’s way to set people aside after their first start so self-confidence may die down. With Moses, he was forty years tending sheep after being part of Pharaoh’s household. On his first start, he had to run away, but God was using this time to prepare Moses to lead His people. The Apostle Paul was in isolation for three years also, after his first testimony. Not that God did not approve the first earnest testimony. We must get to know ourselves and that we have no strength in ourselves. Therefore, we must learn, and then leaning on the Lord we can with more maturity, and more experience, be prepared in a greater way to do God’s work.”
The Christian life matures and becomes fruitful by the principle of growth as is expressed in 2 Peter 3:18, “Rather, you must grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”
In addition to the struggles we may face and the experience we gain, much time is involved. Unless we see and concede to this, there is bound to be constant frustration, to say nothing of resistance to our Father’s development processes in us.
This story best illustrates the point. “A student asked the President of his college whether he could not take a shorter course than the one prescribed. ‘Oh yes,’ replied the President, ‘but then it depends on what you want to be. When God wants to make an oak, He takes a hundred years, but when He wants to make a squash, He takes six months.’” Another bit of wisdom that we should grasp is that “Growth is not a uniform thing in the tree or in the Christian. For most trees, in some single months, there is more growth than in all the remaining months. During the rest of the year, however, there is solidification, without which the green timber would be useless. The period of rapid growth, when the woody fiber is actually deposited between the bark and the trunk, occupies but four to six weeks in May, June, and July.”
Let’s settle it once and for all—there are no shortcuts to reality! A meteor is on a shortcut as it proceeds to burn out, but not a star, with its steady light so often depended on by navigators. Unless the time factor is acknowledged from the heart, there is always the danger of turning to the false enticement of a shortcut via the means of “experiences” and “blessings,” where one becomes pathetically entangled in the whirlwind of ever-changing feelings, drifting from the moorings of scriptural facts.
Regarding this subject, George Goodman writes, “Some have been betrayed into professing perfection or full deliverance, because at the time they speak, they are happy and confident in the Lord. They forget that it is not a present experience that ensures fruit unto maturity, but a patient continuance in well doing. To taste of the grace of God is one thing; to be established in it and manifest it in character, habit, and regular life, is another. Experiences and blessings, though real gracious visitations from the Lord, are not sufficient to rest upon, nor should they lead us to glory in ourselves, as if we had a store of grace for time to come, or were yet at the end of the conflict. No. Fruit ripens slowly; days of sunshine and days of storm each adds their share. Blessing will succeed blessing, and storm follows storm before the fruit is full grown or comes to maturity.”
Keeping with the analogy of the fruit, God’s method for true spiritual growth involves pain as well as joy, suffering as well as happiness, failure as well as success, inactivity as well as service, death as well as life. The temptation to shortcut is especially strong unless we see the value of, and submit to, the necessity of the time element. In simple trust, we must rest in His hands.
As the Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Philippi 1:6, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” And it will take that long! But since God is working for eternity, why should we be concerned about the time involved? As Hebrews 10:36 tells us, “Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
Today on our trek of the Principles for Spiritual Growth, we have hiked on our second trail called Time. Ironically, there was not enough time to cover all that we need to learn. Tomorrow we will continue to hike the Trail of Time and explore more valuable concepts. In our fast paced instant-everything culture we need to wait patiently for God’s timing. 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!