Unseen progress

Sometimes, the progress we make in life is impossible to see from where we are.  I saw a great example of this over Christmas with the six-month old baby, Payshience, currently living with my aunt and uncle.  She is a beautiful little girl with a great personality, and having a baby around made Christmas that much more delightful.

One afternoon, I put her down on the floor for some tummy time on a blanket.  My grandpa came and sat down on the couch next to her and crossed his legs so that his foot was just above the level of her head and about a foot out of reach.  Payshience decided that she absolutely needed to get to that foot, and despite the fact that she can’t crawl, she diligently tried and tried to scoot herself forward.

She doesn’t have the coordination to pull herself along yet, so she would put her head down on the ground and use it to leverage herself forward centimeter by centimeter.  It took her awhile, but she finally made it about a foot forward.

My dad and I watched the whole thing, amazed at both her diligence and creativity in finding some way to move.  Most interesting to me, however, was my dad’s comment: “She doesn’t even know that she’s moved!”  We could tell, because we had perspective of where she had started, where the blanket was, the location of the things around her, etc.  Although we obviously cannot read her mind, she appeared to be just as diligent at scooting herself later as she had when we put her down.

In several conversations since then, I have noticed the same sort of thing in my own spiritual life and in the lives of my friends.  It’s often impossible to see how we have grown in the moment.  We continue to move, trying to move bit by bit but feeling like nothing is changing.  The pink blanket on which we lie seems to go on forever, and the ellusive “foot” seems to always be just out of reach. 

I believe that this is one reason God made us for relationship not only with Him but also with others.  They often have perspective that we can’t have.  They can say what we need to hear: “You are moving!”  “God is working!” “You aren’t the same as you used to be!”  “Keep going! You’re headed in the right direction!”

P.S. It’s also a good reason to journal.  It’s amazing to look at what God has done with the perspective of time and many answered prayers!

Payshience

Floor friends. 🙂

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