Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality


Outgrowing the Old Doesn’t Need to be Prickly

posted by Cheryl Petersen

It is common for human beings to outgrow clothes. Children outgrow clothes due to the sheer fact their bodies grow. Adults outgrow clothes due to style and fashion changes. Human beings are also known to outgrow friends and churches which can sometimes create a prickly situation. However, the prickles can be dulled by realizing that it isn’t so much we outgrow people and places, but we outgrow ways of thinking. It is quite natural to outgrow thoughts in all areas of life. Cultural, social, religious, and scientific ways of thinking are constantly outgrowing themselves.

Sometimes an outgrown way of thinking is simply thrown out like a pair of tight uncomfortable shorts. Good riddance. Other times we hold on to an outgrown thought because it is devotedly cherished and became the center of ever shrinking universe. But more often than not, our thinking is a work in progress and religion and science are tools used to put on the new and improved thoughts for good practical use.

In the field of science, Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, Stephen Hawking, wrote in his book, A Briefer History of Time, “The twentieth century saw man’s view of the universe transformed: we realized the insignificance of our own planet in the vastness of the universe, and we discovered that time and space were curved and inseparable, that the universe was expanding, and that it had a beginning in time.” Moreover, in the field of metaphysics, scientists are putting on new thoughts of an infinite, consequently in the process of outgrowing the thinking that there is a beginning and an end.

The religious field is also maturing past old philosophies. Frances Hunter wrote in the book, How to Heal the Sick, “I have heard people say, ‘God sent this sickness on me to teach me a lesson; he is teaching me something.’ I find it difficult to believe that, because would God give something as horrible as sickness to his children? Would you do that to your children? And think how much more God loves us than we love our earthly children?” Frances Hunter threw out the old thinking that God sent sickness and her ability to heal the sick through prayer to God increased.

New technologies and discoveries are turning old ways of thinking upside down and shaking them out of their boots. To pretend some things don’t change is to put obstacles in the way. Everyone outgrows things at different rates, and as that fact is appreciated, we all can keep putting on the new.

From 21st Century Science and Health, “By taking “off your old self with its practices,”[1] mortals are clothed “with immortality.[2]

“We cannot fathom the nature and quality of God’s creation by diving into the pitfalls of human belief. We can reverse our feeble undertakings—our efforts to find life and truth in the insubstantial—and outgrow the physical and mortal evidence. It helps to look past the temporal, to the eternal idea of God. Eternal, clearer, higher views inspire the God-like person to reach the absolute center and circumference of Being.”


[1] Col. 3:9

[2] I Cor. 15:53



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