Hi everyone. Rob here.
10 years ago this week my friend David and I began this blog in order to give expression to the life of the heart in relation to Christian faith. I want to thank all of the readers who have stuck with us, joined us recently, read occasionally and given us feedback. David no longer writes here but I’m sure he joins me in gratitude toward you all.
When you look back 10 years, what has changed? A member of the Wild at Heart team, Morgan Snyder, suggests that “we live by the day and measure by the decade.” Have we become better people, more wholehearted, more Christlike and more loving in the last 10 years? If we haven’t then God wants to shift some things in us. If we have then God wants to continue the good work in us.
10 years brings a lot of external change to our lives and that drives the need for internal growth as we seek the capacity to deal with and live well in our ever-changing world. For me that external change has seen:
A move from one house to another
Kids growing from pre-schoolers to High School and Middle School
Got ourselves a dog, but said goodbye to 2 cats
3 trips to America, 4 to Australia, 1 to Israel and the West Bank and 1 to Fiji.
3 life-changing Wild at Heart events
My mum dying from cancer
My job as church pastor coming to an end
Working part-time at a supermarket alongside writing and speaking commitments
Attending a new church
That seems like a lot but it hardly begins to cover the changes that have happened. Take the journey of parenting pre-schoolers to parenting high-schoolers and all that has to change there. Think about friendships lost, gained and transformed. There is also the challenge of consistently loving your spouse who is also changing. There are changes in your body. Think a bit further afield and you see a Digital Revolution, a pandemic, a reckoning on race and sex and gender and how power works, major political shifts, ongoing effects of climate change and so much more. You can see how we need to keep building our spiritual capacity if we’re going to reflect God’s love in a world like this.
I try and write weekly. I seek to embrace the present moment and ask myself, ‘what is God speaking to me about today?’ When I look back on my blogs I see the truth in Morgan’s statement. This collection of thoughts, prayers, hopes, reflections, laments and celebrations have created a memory bank and a record of change and growth. It also reflects the reality that growth isn’t linear. I would venture to define spiritual growth as:
…the increasing capacity to meet any and every moment with the love, wisdom and life of God in us.
As a follower of Jesus Christ that capacity, I believe, comes through my surrender to Jesus as Lord and the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, heart and mind. The one common factor of a decade of writing is the absolute need for us to give our lives over to Father, Son and Spirit constantly and consistently. This involves receiving the Father’s embrace of love, dying to ourselves at the cross of Christ, receiving new life through the empty tomb and coming alive to God through the Spirit working in us. Surrender is an intentional act. It is active cooperation with God’s work in the world. A decade on I see the need for this surrender even more. That is spiritual growth to me.
Thanks again for your love and support. As you reflect on the last decade may you see that God has been, still is and always will be with you, loving you and strengthening you. May you give yourself over and over and over to his love. And may your increased capacity for the life of God in you help to change and transform this world.
Grace and peace.