Signposts: Daily Devotions

Monday, May 12

When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways.
—1 Corinthians 13:11

“It’s good to have that behind me.” This is a comment we make in regard to a great many things—a job interview, a surgery, a difficult conversation with a friend. Problem solved, anxiety put to rest, we breathe a sigh and prepare to take the next step. Sometimes this process actually works. More often, though, we find ourselves dealing with a similar situation just weeks or months down the road.

Similarly, as spiritual pilgrims, we tend to assume that once we’ve reached a certain “level”—that is, once we’ve learned to pray in a particular way, or once we’ve “come to terms” with a loss or a question we have about God—we imagine that this aspect of our faith has been worked out for good. In truth, however, the only thing we can predict with certainty is that we’ll cover the same ground again, and again, and again. We’re never really “done.”

We can see this quite clearly when we take time to write our spiritual autobiography or to engage in some other artistic pursuit that reflects our interior life. Certain themes will inevitably pop up periodically, even those we’ve relegated to a more “childish” phase in our past. Thankfully, we do mature in our relationship with the Divine, changing our image of God as we grow.

But this growth, when it comes, will seldom take us on a well-ordered linear path from A to B to C. More than likely, we’ll continue circling back, retracing our steps as we journey deeper within.

O God, support me as I make my way toward you, reminding me that setbacks will come, and giving me the patience and strength to learn from them all that I can.

The Signposts for May are written by Susan Hanson and originally appeared on in September 2004.