Is life change instantaneous or is it a process?
The short answer is, of course...Yep. Uh-ha. Definitively, both!
It seems like transformation mostly occurs over time (argh!), refined through testing in a "two-steps-forward-&-one-step-back" kinda' way. Of course, the challenge with any change-for-the-better is that we live in a "microwave culture". We value instant and immediate gratification. The thought of waiting feels almost beneath us - whether it be in a retail line, internet service, traffic, a dream vacation, a promotion, or intimacy in relationship. We simply love efficiencies and waiting, well, feels wasteful.
Think about it...most times we encounter a wait, we try to skip it. Avoiding a wait makes sense BUT it also might mean we, inadvertently, end up avoiding a deeper, developmental process. So, here's a crazy, counter-cultural idea to consider: Process as progress.
What if waiting also involves enduring? What if the process forces us to slow down, practice listening, mature, not react, be deliberate with our actions, measure with our words, or discipline our spending? Seems like our lives, particularly our faith, could look different, maybe even transformed.
Transformation isn't about perfection. It's isn't about being right, tenured or experienced. It's about giving ourselves to a process whereby we become the person who God intended EVEN IF (& when) we stumble. Two-steps-forward-&-one-step-back is a real thing. God's grace even allows for it because, ultimately, it still looks like progress. The net gain is growth.