I have twin nephews who turned a year old in January, and they are fun, active, and overall, very easy babies.
Throughout their first year of life, I soaked up all of the ways they were rapidly growing and developing. Each new development amazed me—the first time they locked eyes with mine, the first time they grasped my finger with their tiny hands, the first time they gave me little smiles, the first time I heard them laugh, the first time I saw them crawl, and more recently, the first time I watched them take tiny steps. The list gets longer as the boys get older, develop unique personalities, and experience the challenges that come with growing up.
One of these challenges is teething. As I mentioned, my nephews are generally easy-going, so when I first encountered their fussiness and irritability during this phase, I was surprised. My sister and her husband tried everything to help the boys. Pacifiers, teething rings, tylenol, you name it, and I can guarantee that they gave it a shot. However, the boys were still in pain and had to endure it to get their first teeth. The most pitiful part of watching my nephews, or any babies for that matter, go through this was that they didn’t understand the reason for their pain. It would be so much easier if you could just explain to them: “Guys, I know this stinks, but the pain is worth it. Teeth present great opportunities. Once you have them, you don’t have to eat nasty baby food anymore!”
I just knew it would make the pain easier if they could understand it was for good and for their growth, but I had an epiphany: As adults, we are smart enough to understand the importance of growth, but we are no more tolerable of growth than a baby is.
When we work out for the first time in three months, we complain because we’re sore. But, that’s a good thing. We’re getting stronger and in better shape.
When our companies grow, it cuts into our time, and we quickly become frustrated. But, growth is a good thing. We want our companies to be successful.
When our churches expand, we get overwhelmed with needing more space to manage so many new faces and families and forget the blessing it is to welcome new people. We want our church families to grow.
When we experience growth, we often forget to remind ourselves that growth produces opportunity, and opportunity is a good thing. Even though we have a low tolerance for the pain associated with growth, it’s helpful to remind ourselves to reflect on the end goal and the good that will come out of the temporary discomfort.
When we experience growth, we often forget to remind ourselves that growth produces opportunity, and opportunity is a good thing. @KevinPaulScott
Are you experiencing growing pains in your personal or professional life?
This week, take some time to reflect on ways that you’ve worked through challenging seasons of growth. I hope this time encourages you to see the good in the pain and to press on to grow in the weeks, months, and years to come.