Photoshop Spirituality?

A Love Story

A girl in my former church told me about her grandparent’s love story.  During World War 2, her grandmother was interviewed by the local newspaper.  She was featured in a story about single women during the war effort.  At the end of the article, each girl’s home address was published (something all of us would cringe at today).

Her grandfather was in basic training, but his family would send him the newspapers from home.  Several weeks later, he got the paper and read the article.  Of all of the girls featured in the story, one caught his eye.  He started writing her.  She started writing back.  

Of course, as I was hearing the story from their granddaughter, they obviously fell in love, got married, and had a family.  Perfect Hollywood love story, set against the backdrop of the War.

What stood out to me, however, is how long it took for their story to develop.  Her grandparents started writing when grandpa was in boot camp.  They didn’t meet until months later.  They didn’t start dating until after the War.  So their relationship developed over several years of writing letters.

As Slow As Polaroid?

Besides our present day terror of personal information being shared publically or beginning a dialogue with a stranger, we have forgotten that the most important parts of our lives take time to develop.  I wonder how the deepest parts of our soul can grow in a world driven by instant gratification.  

An article in Elite Daily described our culture this way:

“Instant gratification is known as the quick and immediate attainability of satisfaction and happiness. It is a way of experiencing pleasure and fulfillment without delay or patience.”  (Read more: Elite Daily Article)

Of course, we can see this in our spending, our eating, our entertainment and even in our pictures.  When I was a kid (yes a long time ago) the standard way to get pics was to take a picture with a camera and develop the roll of film.  Then we advanced to Polaroids.  (I still don’t know if shaking the pictures helped them develop faster, but we sure tried.)  Now we all have instant pics from cameras on our cell phones.

Honestly, I think this progress is great.  After all, I love that I can publish this post on social media and you can read it a second later.  That’s awesome!

Darkroom or PhotoShop?    16216192229_c7d10de76b_z

While our fast-paced culture is great in many ways, what are the implications for our spirituality?

Spiritual growth is more like developing a roll of film than editing a digital picture.  The deepest part of our being will develop and mature over time.  This chafes against our cultural expectation for instant results.  

While PhotoShop and other photo editing programs are great for making a nice image look amazing, our faith cannot be edited into maturity overnight.  We need to go through a process of growth and development.  The Bible speaks of this maturing process in Hebrews 5:12-13. There we are challenged to take intentional steps to grow in our faith.  

According to the Bible, spirituality is a growth process.  However, unlike physical maturity, we have an active role to play in our spiritual growth.  Much like physical maturity, we must keep developing.  More specifically, we should have an intentional process for growth.  

So what do you do to grow spiritually?

Join the conversation!  How do you intentionally pursue spiritual growth?

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