Friday, July 11, 2008


I’ve always flinched a little at that. The implication and sometimes, the downright, outright verbiage is “If you’re not growing, you’re dying.”

The questions that always come to my mind when someone goes on and on about growing is this - when is it done? Or, is it ever done? Is there a rest period? When we’re done growing, do we die? Who is really responsible for my growth? God or me? Both?

Understand these are not necessarily questions to which I have good answers and, at best, the answers seem to change every once in a while.

For the last six or seven months, I’ve been reading from a book my son and his wife gave me at Christmas last season by Frederick Buechner and it’s called “Secrets in the Dark.” I highly recommend it to you. It’s like eating dessert before breakfast for me. A rich, almost guilty pleasure. It’s been kicking off the most regular quiet time I’ve had in a long time and I enjoy it so much that, sometimes, I think as I’m reading, “I don’t think devotion is supposed to be this tasty.”

A lifetime of self-imposed guilt over stupid things I’ve done, or more often, things I’ve not done, shows its fruit and tries to steal any treasured things it can find, even in the midst of devotion and an effort to, uh, grow.

But I’ve enjoyed it so much, I wanted to share a bit from the last thing I read. It gave a few examples of things that challenged me to stretch and grow (sigh) some more and to continue to pursue that illusive, or at least, easily distracted, more Godly man I want to be.

Speaking to a group of students about their new headmaster he wrote:

First of all he’s a good listener as he is a talker, and good listeners don’t grow on trees. As far as I can tell, most people I know hardly listen at all when I try to tell them something, but seem instead just to be waiting till it’s time for them to start talking again, and that always makes me feel terribly lonely, as if the only one of us who gives a hoot about who I am and what I think is me.

The second reason I value him as a friend is that when he talks to you, you get the feeling that he’s not trying to impress you, or to sound like the kind of person he thinks you want him to be, or tell you the kind of thing he thinks you want him to say.

The third reason is that he’s kind. I don’t mean kind just on the surface with a lot of less than kind things going on behind the scenes, or kind for the sake of being popular and getting your vote. . .


In every line, even when the text of this wonderful book is not directly quoting scripture or pointing me toward a Bible story, I see God in it. I see Godliness in it.

And He is in it all. In everything I do today, in everyone I encounter, I pray that He will remind me of His love for all mankind, of His delight in me as He sees me in the light of Christ and His forgiveness.

That is good soil to grow in.

Wayne Watson
July 2008

PS - And this has nothing to do with anything written above. But just be aware. I went to see the new Disney movie "Wall-E" last night thinking that next time I'm in Nashville maybe I'll take Sam (5) and Gabe (3) (Neal and Lindsay's boys) to see it. After all, it's rated "G". Right.

Well just know that it's a very direct statement about the planet and about what slobs us humans are, or are becoming. I don't know where you stand on the whole "green" thing. I think it's important to be responsible and care for the earth we inhabit but this movie is directed at children to indoctrinate them to a specific political agenda and a very specific way of thinking. Basically, that we are lazy, irresponsible brats. Well, of course, some are.

I can count on one hand the number of movies I've walked out of before the film ended. Add one more.

For what it's worth.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

on the wall-E movie ...I thought the exact same thing ...I even dozed off a little but didn't miss anything because they were driving the same point home in a huge way through out the whole movie. My girls said they woul not recommend it to their friends and my husband gave it a wrinkled nose and rolled eyes vote for a thumbs down.The commercial showed the cutest momment. Its time to get out and go play outside together and forget boring movies. Beach house here we come!