I love to see my trees grow. Finding fresh growth of limbs and leaves is inspiring. Inspecting the distance grown, while usually just inches, excites. When I see these humble advancements, a simple gratitude is born. I wonder, when did this fresh growth happen?
How could I have missed it? Then I remember, for a tree, growth never stops. It’s always happening, slowly, surely, even as I hold a limb in my hand — it’s growing.
Like an avalanche of pianos, this realization always comes crashing down, my growth should always be happening. There should never be a time that I’m not growing and it doesn’t have to be heroic, it just needs to happen.
Trees grow automatically, human beings don’t, we have that responsibility. The responsibility of placing ourselves in the path of growth, this is what separates human beings from other forms of life on earth. We have a choice.
This choice, this opportunity is what I’m grateful for. I get to live in a world where growth is possible, just the thought of it causes gratitude to swell within. It’s not automatic — it takes cultivation.
The idea of stagnancy is depressing isn’t it? Who wants to be stuck? Not me. I don’t even want to arrive, I want to be on the way. I want to be continually expanding my capacity. I want my courage, joy, self-control, knowledge, and love — to grow.
Fresh growth on my trees always sparks gratitude. There’s something primal about it, something that calls to my nature. In a small way, it’s a reminder of the Creator’s gift to me. New life, fresh growth, is His standing offer. My response to His gift, my choice to grow, that’s my gift to Him.
Yes, I’m grateful for growth, the infinite ability to become, not just be. To stretch, to reach, to ascend — further up and further in. I need not worry about arriving, I’m just grateful to be on the way.