The Big Island grows bigger. For several decades, Kilauea safely sent lava on a downward slope to the sea, giving a bit more land to the island. But a new series of eruptions have changed things, with about two dozen fissures, or cracks in the earth’s surface, that allow lava to surge, destroying homes and highways and immolating cars. The earlier cool lava has given way to fresh and hotter lava, creating steam as it reaches the Pacific, and slowly increasing the size of Hawaii.
Something struck me. God finished creating the world, pronounced its goodness, and rested. But the creation continues. Not static, but a dynamic process. That’s normal. Pressure from below builds mountains from flat plains. Mountains wear down under millennia of erosion. Rivers cut deeper channels. The world continues to grow. OK, no new substance, but it changes.
That’s life. Physically, we change. Two different cells combine to create a new one, which develops into somewhere around 37 billion cells in an adult human. Oh, and about 300 million of those cells die. Every minute. Yeah, that growth process has some hiccups. Like Kilauea.
That Kilauea metaphor also extends to the spiritual life. God designed us to grow, to change. To become more Christ-like. To accomplish that, some cells must die. Some new ones must emerge. A stagnant life, one doing the same old same old, dishonors God. Paul told us to “put off your old self…to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness”(Ephesians 4:22-24).
Change. Becoming a new person. Growing. Adding more to our lives, like Kilauea is doing with Hawaii. So, how do we change? “make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love” (2 Peter 1:5-7).
Maybe we need to copy Kilauea. Destroy some habits and thoughts that get in the way of growing. Add some traits that move us along.
Kick Starting the Application
Do you get a sense God wants you to move ahead into more Christlikeness? What are a couple of aspects that need to be eliminated? Are you willing to take a step this week on at least one of them? Look again at the list of traits in 2 Peter. Which do you most need to add? Are you willing to take a step this week on at least one of them? Will you share your decisions with a friend?