(Parenting version: "When will they ever grow up?!"
Some of you may be in the part of the woods where the patient trees are planted. My fellow hasty trees and I need to see progress DAILY. I think that is why I love spring in Tennessee. Every day my tulips are taller. I think if I stood and watched this morning, I would have been able to see the Bradford pear's blooms turn from light green to white because it happened sometime between 9 am and 11 am! Now that is maturing at a speed I can live with!
What frustrates me even more than slow growth in projects and other people in my own slow growth. My inner voice is a real nagger. She likes to say, "So how many more years do you want to...?" and she comes up with yet another piece of unfinished business. Especially around my birthday, as if I may finally grow up in time to blow out the candles with a breath of fresh maturity.
Sometimes I listen and make a concerted effort in an area of childishness because we can collaborate with our inner nagger. Unfortunately, she can't always be trusted. She nags about other people too, sees, and sometimes she even blames them for our immaturity, which is exactly what immaturity often is: not seeing myself clearly, or even if I do, not taking full responsibility for myself: the nasty, naughty, and nice.
That's why the trees. Bamboo hangs around without any progress for three years and then shoots up so fast you can hear it grow! When we know our areas of slow growth, based on our tree type, we can face them, pray about them, ask someone to keep us accountable about them or embrace opportunities that will automatically drag us up-hill towards character formation.
We call them "Fast Forwards" because those are going to require the right kind of impatience. It will require of us to answer our nagger, "You're right, I'm tired of being touchy (Boxwood). You're right, I'm over the nuisance of needing to control everyone (Rose Bush) You're right, I'm done passively waiting for life to happen to me (Pine), and I'm tired of apologizing for impulse control issues (Palm Tree).
Do you know your tree type and have you looked at your Fast Forwards?