Derived from “Stagnant: not advancing or developing” the verb Stagnate means: “to stop developing, growing, progressing, or advancing; to be or become sluggish and dull.”

Verbs are action words, but this particular verb is built on a word that means the exact opposite, the lack of action. The lack of movement. How peculiar.

What happens when you build a verb around such a word? You get the reverse affect. You get backwards movement. You find that standing still is not good enough. Not only is it not good enough, it produces increasingly negative results. Thus, you are no longer simply standing still. You are moving again; moving backwards.

I examine the meaning of such a word in an attempt to  measure my current life movement. What direction am I going? What direction have I come from? And more importantly, have I unknowingly started to stagnate?  

Over the last several months, I have been wondering what’s next. I have noticed the tendency I have to “be idle; exist in a changeless situation.”  

With that in mind, I have taken baby steps forward. And now, it’s “Go time.”

Do not misunderstand me. I am both not taking drastic steps nor am I doing this on my own strength or gumption. The steps I take are just small, simple ones. But every baby step forward pulls me out of stagnation. Each time I submit to God to move closer to him, to follow his directions, even if they are a little scary or worse, contain an end that I cannot logically calculate, I am compelled to take another step. 

Two of my steps are moving and serving. I will be moving in October to live with one of the girls in my community group, and I have begun serving with the Student Ministries program at my church. Each step small. Each step pushing me forward. Each step combined with another small step, wards off the foul stench of stagnation, which ultimately leads to decay and death.

We each have but two choices, slow to a standstill and end up in reverse – dyeing or crawl forward to life. I chose life. You? What do you choose and how will you begin to see it done?


Filed under words

2 responses to “stag⋅nate

  1. Vicky

    I recently heard a speaker say that we should always be able to point to specific ways that we are growing in our relationship with God. And that if we aren’t growing, we’re “backsliding” because there is no staying put with God. It really struck me.

    This has been a year of amazing growth for me. As I have hit the “12-month” mark, I have really been praying that it would not end but instead I would look back on this last year as merely the beginning of a lifetime of growth.

    Taking the first steps are always scary, but God promises never to let our foot slip. God can always fix our mistakes if we step out in faith and it turns out we’re wrong. But God can’t use us much if we’re so afraid to fail that we just sit in the corner. My sister and I were just talking about it this afternoon.

    Glad to hear you are growing! Keep taking those baby steps. I look forward to hearing more of how God is working.

  2. gordon

    That is good stuff Debra. It is preachable

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