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Do you remember MR NIGER D?

That was the acronym we were taught to illustrate the seven attributes of living things. For any organism to qualify as a living thing it must demonstrate these features of movement, reproduction, nutrition, irritability, growth, excretion, respiration and death. Don’t worry, this is not a post about biology, my focus actually is on the issue of growth.

Growth refers to the process of increasing in size, amount, value, or importance, developing physically, mentally, or spiritually. Growth is a natural expectation of life. It is the process by which life is expected to multiply in ability and capacity. Thus, when an organism is not growing, we say there is a problem, as if to say it has failed in the function of exhibiting life because growth is the mark of life’s supreme beauty.

The interesting thing about this however is that growth is never automatic. It is always the result of a process. Yes, growth and time are relatives, but their relationship is that of quality and not quantity. We can measure growth vis-a-vis time, but we cannot force growth because of the uncontrollable nature of time’s quantity. The point is, an organism does not grow because of a change in the calendar. On the contrary, it grows because of an intentional investment of time and resources in its development. This is why nutrition is very important to growth. A child that will grow needs food not a wrist watch.

Let me bring this home. There is an expectation that is placed on us who do purpose to grow in our capacity and capabilities. At the end of every 365 days, we roll over into another year, but how much newness do we experience in our realities? Just like a child can continue to celebrate his birthday even though he has not been able to talk despite his advancement in age, our growth is a process that depends not on the quantity of time we have used but on the quality of investments we have put into getting better.

Now, there are two kinds of growth. The first is what I call downward or internal growth which is the kind of growth that is hardly noticeable yet incredibly fundamental. It is the kind of growth by which a tree grows its root and by which human beings develops their internal organs. The second is the upward or external growth. It is the kind of growth people easily see but its quality depends on that of the internal or downward growth.

Jesus told the story of the farmer whose seeds fell on the rocky ground and sprouted immediately. The external/upward growth was quick but it didn’t last under the scorching sun because the internal/downward growth was imperfect. This is the major lesson among others, that I hope you glean from this post. Our Growth must first be downward before it is upward if we will survive the scorching sun and triumph over the drenching rain.

How far do you desire to go in the pursuit of your purpose? How high do you desire to rise? If you really want to go far and reach beyond the skies, I beg you to pay attention to the depth of your roots. Be intentional about your growth especially as it relates to your capacity and capabilities. Invest in your personal development. Keep it in mind always, that growth is never automatic. It is a process. Today and always, I pray God helps us to embrace that process. Amen.

I call you blessed.


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