Posted by: grantmiho | October 24, 2009

How Long to Grow a Christian?

Recently, Miho has taught me another Japanese song she learned as a child by her parents. It goes, “Okome hitotsubu hachi jyu hachi ya.” Rough translation, “It takes 88 steps to grow a piece of rice.” In this brief song, parents are reinforcing a great lesson that kids will remember. Miho’s parents used it to reinforce the idea that it took such a process of some poor farmer to make this rice, so don’t waste it. Not even one piece of rice! This would make from an easy dish washing as the plate would end up completely empty.

While this song in itself has nothing to do with the Christian life, it got me thinking. How long does it take for us to grow as Christians? I recently have read through the book of Deuteronomy and am amazed at how long God was at work in their lives and it is hard to see them really growing, after 40 years in the desert. It took many years to raise Moses to become the leader he was meant to be. Just how the piece of rice didn’t pop up out of the field in a day, our own spiritual lives are nurtured over time, seasons, and experiences to fully blossom.

I am sure it will take more than 88 steps to fully reach maturity in our faith. Yet, this is what God has called each of us to strive towards. Just as a little child learns not to toss away a tiny piece of rice, how much more valuable are our lives. Such a silly little song has reminded me once again of our need to grow and not waste the life God has given us.


  1. I’m continuing to pray for you both as you are in Scotland. The Japan team just met on Friday for our annual conference where we talk about our ministries here and do some future dreaming. You were a part of that discussion and the team is looking forward to having you join them!
    Grace and peace,

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