In a very real way, spiritual growth is like giving birth. There is no rushing the process of spiritual gestation, it takes however long it takes. When we try to rush the process and seek short cuts – which most people do at one time or another – those short cuts don’t work, but if we attend to them they, too, become part of our evolving process. Every step along the way requires a kind of fermentation that allows the dough of our journey to rise, if only to be punched down so that it can be made into bread. Each of those steps, if authentic, see us emerge changed in some way. Often the changes are quite subtle, and we don’t notice them until we have accumulated quite a few. Ironically, we can be sure we have made significant progress when we become patient and find we no longer search for short cuts. Then the journey itself becomes the goal, and real growth can begin. When that happens, we look back on our days of hurrying and smile because we recognize how foolish we were – but even that foolishness is part of the process, as everything is!