Lately I’ve been pondering the concept of ‘trajectory’ as a way of making sense of the shape that our lives take, especially the faith dimension.
You see no one just wakes up one day and discovers that they are fat. Obesity is a result of a series of many interconnected life choices that have leant in the direction of over-consuming. Neither does anyone wake up fit, and in great shape. Again a series of many, many choices over many years will have contributed to this outcome.
So the idea of spiritual maturity takes form in a similar way. No one wakes up one day as a ‘spiritual giant’, nor do they suddenly find themselves spiritually empty. From the time we surrender our life to Christ we make choices that either move us in the direction of more substantial faith or we we can head the other way and make choices that run at odds with our stated intention of becoming Christlike.
Most of us lumber around and have fits of passion followed by periods of indifference, or maybe even despair.
But our choices matter.
Small choices here and there that conflict with where we hope to head are like a donut in the middle of a strict diet. Not ideal, but not likely to make an significant difference to the final destination. But if a person were ‘on a diet’ and knocking back a donut a day – while stating their intention was to get slim, then we’d view them with a bit of skepticism. Its a repeated pattern of choices and it will have an outcome in due course.
I’m certain that where we are in faith today is the result of a series of choices we have made over a long period of time, and equally where we will be in 15-20 years time will be a result of the choices we are making now.
So perhaps the question we need to grapple with is ‘who do I want to be in 20 years time?’ Because if we don’t have any sense of our ‘life trajectory’ then chances are we will unknowingly take the path of least resistance and finish up in a place we never intended to be.
Now that I’m nearly 52 I’ve seen this so often – some gradually move into spiritual maturity and health while others slowly drift into a life where faith has diminished to a vague memory.
So who do you want to be?
And what choices do you need to make to ensure you remain on a trajectory that allows you to become that person? It isn’t just going to happen.
Hamo – Great post. The visual of a fluid trajectory is right for most people. I will send this to my 18 year old son.
Ha! What are the chances. At family camp (we returned yesterday) we had everyone draw their families – in. 20. years. time.