I really enjoy watching stock footage of time lapsed film.
I could not tell you exactly why I like watching it so much. Maybe it’s because the shots capture processes that take hours or days to complete in just a few seconds. Maybe it’s because hours worth of natural developing beauty are condensed into such a short amount of time that my senses are overloaded. Whatever the case, were it not for modern technology, I know that watching a seed turn into a flower in less than a minute is impossible.
If you’re wired anything like me, you get frustrated with yourself and inability to be consistent at, well, anything. I am 25 years old, and there are a few things I feel like I should have under control by now. To think of the list of things that were important to me when I was 18; the kind of people I want to befriend, the sort of career I want to have, and the kind of woman I want to marry. That list looks completely different now, I don’t even know if there is a list anymore.
Growing up is hard to do. While I’m pretty sure my body is done growing and will only deteriorate from here on out, my heart, mind, and soul continue to develop. My desires are slowly but consistently shifting, and for the most part they are growing in a healthy direction. But sometimes it’s hard for me to tell if I’m really getting better at making decisions, being responsible, and being a better man of God.
The problem is I can’t watch myself grow. The process is slow and seemingly uneventful, nearly invisible really. You can’t feel it, and you don’t even know it, because know one tells you when you’re a “grown up”. The only way I can test my growth is to evaluate myself. In the same way we marked our height with our backs to the doorframe as a kid to measure our growth, we find out what we’re made of as adults when life puts our back against the wall and asks what we’re really made of.
We can track our growth when we maintain our strength through circumstances that would have crushed us a few years ago. We can find out if we’re really growing when we face a conflict with confidence that we would have simply fled from before. We can’t just decide when we’re grown up. Rather, life will bring a storm, and you’ll be ready or you won’t. Either way, you’ll know how tall you are.