Progress is one of those words that can bring joy or fear. It depends on which side of progress you find yourself on. Are you making progress or are you stuck? Are you reaching towards progress or is progress being forced upon you? All valid questions.

My opinion, take it for what it’s worth, is that progress is something we all reach for in various parts of our life, and at various times. Some of us want progress in our jobs so we continue our education. Some want progress in our creative outlets, so we focus on our art or craft. Some want progress in relationships, so they focus on building better communication skills.

In our spiritual lives, progress means we are growing more like Christ. In many ways it is no different than the progress we strive for in other areas. It takes determination, grit, hard work, and falling into grace.

Progress is a process.

Progress is like taking one step forward and two steps back. Occasionally, progress happens in a great leap of faith. At another time, progress occurs when you take the jump and miss the mark . It can be found in failure as well as success. It can be found in the mundane task of daily living, or the experience of stepping into something new. It can be found in the forgiveness offered to another, or the acceptance of forgiveness from those you have hurt.

Progress is a process.

It does not come on its own. You cannot sit idle and expect it to show up on your door step. Determination does not equal destination.

Determination is the decision to pursue the destination, the resolve to go after something. Destination is the arrival, the journey’s end result. Yet, being determined does not take me to the destination. Progress takes me there. There are many steps between determination and destination.

Progress is a process.

And since progress is a process, we must remember that it takes time, a lifetime. I am a work in progress and so are you. Let’s give grace – not just to those we come in contact with, but with ourselves. We are usually our harshest critics. We speak the loudest to ourself. We give the cruelest treatment to the one in the mirror.

Progress is a process. Let’s be lifelong learners. Let’s ease up a little and enjoy the journey of faith with grace and love. Let’s strive to move forward while accepting that progress is a process.

“Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” ~ 1 Corinthians 9:25, NASB

We are striving to finish well. We are striving for an imperishable prize. It takes time because progress is a process.