Monday, June 30, 2008
One of my favorite things to do in the summer is get up early in the morning, in the cool of the day, grab a cup of coffee, with cream of course :), and walk through my garden admiring my flowers. I am by no means an expert gardener - I just love to garden. I love to dig in the dirt, I love to plant flowers, I even love to weed. Weeding is always a great time to spend with God because at least at my house, when I am weeding I am completely alone. My kids look out the window and if they see me weeding they don't get within 100 yards of me because they know I'll say something like,
"Hey you! Come over here and help me weed!"
What they haven't figured out is that it suits me fine. Because sometimes a woman just needs some alone time to think about things, and figure things out, and talk seriously with the Master Gardener about different kinds of weeds that keep sprouting up in life.
One of the things I have learned is important to do in caring for flowering plants is to deadhead them. That is when you pull or snap off the old spent blooms in order for the plant to stop sending nutrition to the dead part of the plant but instead to focus on sending it all to the living part of the plant. By doing this little mundane task, the plants will bloom more frequently and more fully. So this morning as I was weaving in and out of my flowers and snapping off their dead little heads it occurred to me that there is a parallel lesson going on here.
As there so often is in gardening.
Jesus used many gardening examples to explain spiritual truths to us. I don't remember Him using the exact term deadhead - but He sure could have. For instance how many times have I tried to get through a day by using the strength of the time I spent with Him the day before. That strength has already been spent. It is no longer living. I need a fresh word every day in order to bloom.
Or how many times have I resisted doing anything new or different spiritually because I am just a creature of habit. Maybe trying something different would "shake me up a little' and help me see things in a whole new way. It could be exciting.
Or how often do I hold onto the hurts and hangups from the past. And by hanging on to those deadheads, how often have I hampered myself from growing and being what God planned for me to be. Perhaps snapping those dead little hurtful things would be the healthiest thing I could do for myself. It would mean I would have to give up my wounded feelings and prideful stubbornness. But they don't look so good in my garden anyway. In fact they just seem to spread more disease making the whole situation more dangerous than it was before.
So the question begs to be asked. What things could you "snap off" that would take you from looking like a lonely, sick little lone petunia into a beautiful plant that is growing tall and flowing over the sides of its container in happy bursts of color that make everyone pause? And notice. Maybe it's time to grab a mug of coffee and wander through your garden a bit looking for those tired and used up blooms. Don't hesitate - just snap those old things off and get ready for a new day.