Inexorable enlargement

We all know people who spend a lifetime at the same job, or the same marriage, or the same profession, who are slowly, inexorably diminished in the process.  They are persistent in the sense that they keep doing the same thing for many years, but we don’t particularly admire them for it.  If anything we feel sorry for them…

But we don’t feel sorry for Jeremiah.  He was not stuck in a rut; he was committed to a purpose…  Everything we know of him shows that after the twenty-three years his imagination is even more alive and his spirit even more resilient than it was in his youth.  He wasn’t putting in his time.  Every day was a new episode in the adventure of living the prophetic life.  The days added up to a life of incredible tenacity, of amazing stamina.

Eugene Peterson in Run With The Horses.

Friends, is this true of your life?  Is your imagination even more alive, your spirit more resilient than ever it was?  Are we coming alive, more every day, as we encounter our life as the unfolding of God’s purposes in and through us?

Jeremiah knew this reality, yet not from the standpoint of a comfortable, easy existence.  So also I believe that – even in the midst of trying circumstances, situations which we did not choose and relationships which are less than we had hoped – we can still experience a walk of faithfulness over a lifetime as inexorable enlargement, not diminution.

And wouldn’t it be precious one day if we were able to look back on a life of faithfulness, even faithfulness through the hard things, a life which had grown into the fulness of holiness and joy?  Wouldn’t it be beautiful to be enlarged in the waiting, to borrow from Peterson’s language in Romans 8, perhaps not seeing what is enlarging us yet waiting with joyful expectancy until we with the whole of creation are released into the glorious times ahead?

Isn’t that worth pursuing?


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