For most children, this month is back to school. In a few places students are still on holiday but will soon be returning. Parents, for the most part, are happy to get back to routine and schedule after finding that the summer break seemed a little too long.
It’s normal to watch our children head off to school and learn. At least we hope they are learning. What about our own personal growth and learning? While it no longer happens in an instructional setting it is still important to keep on learning. Personal growth and development should be lifelong goals for Christians. We want to become more like Jesus.
Personal growth can happen during different seasons of life. It might come during a period of suffering. No one likes to go through a difficult time but for those who are paying attention it can become a rich learning experience. Pain and suffering doesn’t have to be wasted.
I’ve found that during times of transition there is an opportunity to learn if I’m paying attention. We have gone through a couple of international moves that bring great upheaval in many areas. I’ve learned about myself and my fears as we have made the change from one country to another. A transition can come in many forms and almost always helps us learn something about ourselves.
Growth can even happen in the good times but we have to be intentional. The tendency during certain seasons is to coast through life, thinking that we have arrived. During these healthy and productive times we have more energy to think and grow by giving ourselves to study.
The Psalmist prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart.” (Psalm 139:23) I think that’s still a good prayer for anyone wanting to grow and develop in Christlikeness. It begins by inviting the Holy Spirit to come in, fresh and new, to point out those areas that need attention. They aren’t necessarily sinful things but perhaps things that we could do without or areas that need correction.
When the Holy Spirit is our teacher school is never over. So, what are you going to learn this fall?