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Five Perspectives on the Pace of Growth

How fast do you want your company to grow?

If you consider yourself the steward of the company and not the owner, the correct question should be, “How quickly does God want this company to grow?”

I often describe myself as a person with “my foot on the gas pedal, ready to accelerate to the place where I think God needs me to be.” From this perspective, God’s pace seems to be that of a driver who favors the brakes and who enjoys driving slow in the fast lane.

You’ve been behind that kind of a driver, haven’t you? It’s frustrating, isn’t it? If that’s your perspective on God’s pace of growth in your life or business, then you’re going to be frustrated with your relationship with him as well.

God’s pace of growth is much like the pace at which a bonsai grows. Tending a bonsai is a long-term process; pruning, nurturing, encouraging specific and intentional growth to achieve the vision of the master. God’s pace of getting things done is his pace, not yours. It’s the pace of grace—a walk with Christ, not a run.

Alan Fadling’s book, An Unhurried Life, is a welcome perspective to help reframe a lifetime of one-sided and shallow, performance-centered religion.

While it’s tempting to speed-read the book, if you do choose to read it, take your time and watch for these five perspectives on the pace of growth:

  • Productivity: “Genuine productivity is not about getting as much done for God as we can manage. It is doing the good work God actually has for us in a given day.”
  • Achievement: “The God for whom I wait does not ration out his generosity. He longs to be gracious to us. What might it do to the pace of my heart if I were more confident of God’s genuine desire to bless me?”
  • Prayer: “… To what degree do I see prayer as a strategic activity of leaders in general and of my leadership responsibilities in particular?”
  • Possibilities: “… sometimes pruning is the experience of God taking away from us something we thought was very fruitful but was in fact keeping us from being as fruitful as we could be.”
  • Planning: “What if, instead of a road map, God is offering to be my guide? What if I let him decide where we are going?”

If you’re looking to make short-term gains in exchange for long-term impact, this perspective isn’t for you. But if you recognize that you are a “slow sculpture,” —a masterpiece created new in Christ Jesus for good things God planned for you—then you have to balance the pace of growth with the reality of eternity. Allow yourself to be guided, instead of expecting a map.

After all, while you’re here, you might as well do your best to enjoy the journey.

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