“Nearly every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of several years. This means that on the microscopic level, the smallest parts of who you were seven years ago are not part of you now.” – unattributed, revised
It is fairly difficult to comprehend what is being said here–that physically, on the cellular level, I am a different person than I was several years ago! With the exception of some brain and heart cells, nearly every single cell that made me who I was has been replaced. I find this to be so remarkable and so miraculous, yet at the same time a bit scary, for it goes to affirm the extent of my own humanity, of my own mortality.
There is no stillness in life, only change. Yesterday has passed away and is gone. And just as our bodies need physical renewal, our entire being requires continuous renewal–our souls need spiritual renewal, our minds need intellectual renewal, and our hearts need emotional renewal. Without it, we become rigid… our lives become stagnant, as if caught in some sort of pool of murky, dirty water that does not flow at all.
We each need to refresh ourselves from time to time. And we cannot just assume that it will happen without any effort on our part. Some of the most important lessons that I have learned have come from sources that I thought I would hate because their views were so completely different from my own. But I do not want to get stuck in stagnant, murky water; I do not want to be someone who hangs on to the past and fails to see the beauty in the present moments.
Have you renewed yourself today? Do something new or different. Read something that can offer you a new perspective to consider. Listen to someone with whom you may not really agree. This renewal is a crucial aspect of personal growth, of getting out of that murky, dirty pool of water and finding a fresh stream or brook.
Questions to consider:
Do we learn when we are comfortable, doing the same things as always? When and how do we learn the most important lessons of our lives?
Why is it so tempting to try to keep things the same way they have always been?
How often does taking a risk turn out to be a complete disaster?
For further thought:
We say that flowers return every spring, but that is a lie. It is true that the world is renewed. It is also true that that renewal comes at a price, for even if the flower grows from an ancient vine, the flowers of spring are themselves new to the world, untried and untested.
The flower that wilted last year is gone. Petals once fallen are fallen forever. Flowers do not return in the spring, rather they are replaced. It is in this difference between returned and replaced that the price of renewal is paid.
“And as it is for spring flowers, so it is for us.” – Daniel Abraham