While traveling on a yacht from the the Bay Islands to the mainland of Honduras, I learnt an important lesson that speaks to what it takes to become spiritually mature.
While boarding the yacht with about 300 other passengers I noticed they were passing out paper bags to each passenger. I decided not to take any because I was not sure what it was for. 20 minutes into the journey I understood what the paper bags were for. People were throwing up all around me and I began to feel very bad from "sea sickness". This was going to be my longest journey on the sea.
Luckily I survived the journey without throwing up. When I was traveling back to the Bay Islands on the yacht, I met a friend while waiting to board. I told him about my experience to the mainland, and he suggested that the reason for the sea sickness is that the movement of the boat affected my eyes and thus caused the nausea. Therefore, his suggestion is to find the horizon, keep your eyes fixed on it. Because in the middle of the ocean, the horizon is the only constant thing. Everything else will be moving.
I did that and it worked. At least for the time when I was able to keep my eyes on the horizon. While trying to keep my eyes on the horizon, I recognized that as simple as it seems, there were many detractors. Sometimes, I would get caught up in conversations and other activities to the point of forgetting to keep my eyes on the horizon. Sometimes, I would fall asleep. Sometimes I would be tempted to start reading a book. Each time I came to myself, I got rid of the distraction (no matter how important) and focused my eyes on the horizon.
This experience taught me a very important lesson about maintaining our spiritual connection with Jesus. For some Christians, the problem is not knowing the "right" things to do; the problem is distraction. We know that in order for us to grow spiritually, we need to read our Bible, pray, go to church, obey the Holy Spirit and exercise faith. However, sometimes we get distracted by so many seemingly important things that we forget to do the things that are most important (Luke 10:38-42).
In addition to that, when we get distracted, Satan leads us into sin and by the time we get back on track, we begin to question whether or not doing the "right" things can truly protect us from temptations. We begin to think that success in the Christian walk is so illusive that no one can truly have that success, when the real problem is that we got distracted. Not that we failed to do the right thing (the things that contribute to our growth) but that we failed to keep doing them. We fail to guard against distractions.
This is my word of encouragement to you dear reader. That you will not only understand what it takes to grow spiritually, but that you will do them and keep on doing them. Let God take care of the miracle of growth. Just keep your eyes on the horizon. Keep your eyes on the only constant in this world—that is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Philippians 1:6).