Thursday, June 20, 2013

Developed means Developing

One of the first things I noticed about being back in Canada was the good shape of the roads. But I also noticed a lot of recent repairs and current repair projects under way. It occurred to me that having such smooth roads is one of the benefits of being part of what we call a "Developed" country. I could easily see the ongoing work that was being done to keep the roads in such a "smooth" state.

 Unfortunately, many in Uganda (our other home) see development as a stage you reach; paved roads -tick, clean running water - tick, available quality medical care -tick, good telecommunications- tick. These are just a few items that would be on the mental list of a country trying to reach the "Developed" status. Trouble is, development is not a stage but a mentality. To have smooth roads you have to keep filling in the cracks and pot-holes and eventually widening and rebuilding when the need grows. To be developed means to keep developing, to keep making things better. It is not merely about reaching a certain stage.

 To keep things in good condition and in good working order there has to be systems and forethought and a constant will to fight the forces of decay. Most of these qualities lack in the "developing world". This is one of the reasons why there continues to be such a gap between the the so-called "Developed" and "Developing" parts of the globe when it comes to physical infrastructure.

 Let's leave paved roads and running water behind; they can't really change people anyway. However, the principle of developing is important. In our spiritual walk with God through this life we need to keep on developing. God wants to keep changing us -- getting rid of the cracks and damage created by sin and putting in us the strong foundation of His Word. It is one of the joys of life to watch God slowly change us and transform us. If we've been at it long enough, we realize that the spiritual work of development is continuous. Good enough, God has a plan and forethought for developing our lives -- do we have the developing mentality or do we think we have reached the "Developed" stage and the work is done?


Emily Bean said...

Wow. Totally agree. I've been noticing this mentality (or rather observing the decay of once-nice infrastructure), but hadn't quite collected my observations into a coherent thought. You beat me to a good articulation. Hope all is well in Canada. Cheers!

Kathleen Vaughan said...

This was a good post for me to read tonight. I am home in America for a few months, and trusting God to do some needed "developing" work while I am here. Thanks for a good post!