This morning I was reading about Campbell's Law. It's an interesting idea, it states that whenever you start to use a number to measure something, people will inevitably get confused and start looking at the number. For instance, when you are driving somewhere people look at their speedometer. If they want to get there faster, they make that number bigger. The problem is, that number doesn't tell you if you're reaching your destination faster, it only tells you what speed the car is actually moving at. You could be increasing that number but driving the wrong direction. Merely focusing on the number is not an accurate measure of what you are trying to accomplish.
I wonder how often we try to use numbers to measure how close we are to God. Church attendance, Bible verses read, minutes spent in prayer, hours serving others. None of these are bad, in fact their all great! But if the goal is to up the number, we've missed it. Right now I have a daughter at home growing. What can she do to increase her growth? Nothing. She has to wait, and a majority of the things that cause her growth are outside forces she can't control (like how often mommy and daddy feed her).
Sometimes spiritual growth is less about a number and more about waiting, and waiting on God (there's a difference between the two).
Be assured that from the first day we heard of you, we haven’t stopped praying for you, asking God to give you wise minds and spirits attuned to his will, and so acquire a thorough understanding of the ways in which God works. We pray that you’ll live well for the Master, making him proud of you as you work hard in his orchard. As you learn more and more how God works, you will learn how to do your work. ~ Colossians 1:9-10 (MSG)