Sunday, October 28, 2012

Becoming unstuck with small beginings


  Luke 13:18-19
What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?  It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches."

When starting out a new project, investment, business or any endeavor, I prefer instant success. When a great new movie is released, I’m delighted when box office records are broken on the first weekend after the movie is release. I’m not as big a fan of small, slow steps along a path that takes time in order for the journey to yield success.

Jesus compared the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, which is about this size: (.)
How does it grow? It’s grows gradually. Not only that, certain conditions must be met in order for any tree to grow. The soil must contain the right nutrients. The tree must receive the right amount of mositure and sunlight in order to thrive.

What’s that mean to me. It means there are many important things in life that must start off the size of a mustard seed. Certainly our emotional and intellectual abilities start off small. Just like a mustard seed, it isn’t only the passage of time that matters. I’m 60 years of age. Unfortunately, there are times I act as if I’m 3. All of us know someone who routinely acts well below their chronological age every day of their lives. It’s very possible to get stuck in such a way the passage of time doesn’t matter.
In 1 Cor 3:2-3 Paul says to members of the Church:
I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal.

No matter our age, we don’t start on the journey of faith as an adult ready for solid food. We start as a spiritual babies needing milk.  Paul knew those he wrote to were stuck. Enough time had past where they should have matured to the point where they were ready for solid food, but they lacked the capacity to receive it.

From this passage, I’ve learned how important it is to FREQUENTLY ask yourself this question in many difference contexts. I’m trying to build some anticipation and excitement as I delay posing the question. It’s a simple question. It may disappoint you once you hear it. It won’t disappoint you if you put the question into the right context. “Here’s the question: Am I stuck?”  That doesn’t appear to be a life changing question, but it has the potential to become one if asked in the right context. Some examples:
1. Am I stuck emotionally? Or Am I growing and demonstrating evidence of that growth
2. Am I stuck relationally? Are there destructive patterns I get stuck in, do I involve myself with the same type of destructive people?
3. Am I stuck professionally? Am I using my God given talents and abilities to the fullest?
4. Am I stuck in anger or bitterness? If so, what do I need to let go of and who do I need to forgive?
5. Am I stuck in destructive patters of relating to the people I love or who love me?
6. Am I stuck spiritually-Is my life bearing the fruit of my age, experience and wisdom, have I grown the knowledge of our Lord, or am I stuck.
7. Am I stuck because I haven’t done something the Lord has called me to do?
8.  Am I stuck with old voices in past defining who I am, so I can’t become who God wants me to be.

These are potentially life-changing questions.  Since my diagnosis of prostate cancer Brenda & I know what it’s like to be stuck in destructive relational patterns. We recently returned from an amazing vacation,which helped us become unstuck. After you read this, be challenged to find the areas of life you’ve been stuck at. I hope you’ll leave me some comments to tell me about them and what you plan to do to get yourself unstuck.