We were sitting on my porch, my friend and I. She was reminiscing about a book she was reading (by Shauna Neiquist, I believe). A revolutionary thought had presented her with a pronounced freedom – to create a list of things that you are not. For example, “I am not a gardener,” my friend admitted with a smile. “I’m not either,” I jumped to agree! She looked at me doubtfully, because we were surrounded by my potted plants. I felt like I owed her, and everyone, an explanation.
I am not a gardener.
Marshall teases me mercilessly that I don’t have a green thumb, and, in fact, he doubts that my thumb is even brown! So why do I have plants? Well, I love them for one thing! I just can’t keep them alive or flourishing! That doesn’t really answer the question, does it? Let’s go back to the revolutionary idea of what I am not or do not do:
- I do not garden for therapy or stress relief.
- I do not garden for bragging rights.
- I do not garden because I’m naturally talented at it.
I do garden to remind myself to be diligent in spiritual disciplines.
I am not, by nature, prone to nourish plants nor myself. The plants are such a stark visual reminder of what happens when depraved of proper nourishment. The buds don’t result in blooms, even though there is promise peeking shyly at you. The leaves dry up on the edges and become fragile and brittle. The dust settles on the leaves and the pests aren’t bidden haste. All of these indications that my plants have not been nourished or cared for properly.
When I see my plants in this condition, it immediately provokes me to take an inventory of my spiritual disciplines.
There are shockingly similar indications for my spirit. There remain gifts that aren’t stirred up, my capacity for grace and kindness shrivels up, and the lies of the enemy nest themselves inside my mind without any truth to eradicate them.
As a new creation, I need to be connected to the vine in order to flourish and bear fruit. I can’t do that without nourishing myself regularly with the truth of the Living Water, and submitting myself to the care of the Lord. He knows best when to put me in the sun, when to prune my branches, when to add minerals to my soil, and when to protect me from damaging elements – because He is the one who created me!
I “know” that truth. It’s one of the earliest Scriptural truths that I learned and there are countless songs about this truth. But unless I see something despairing for lack of proper nourishment, I can learn to live without nourishment. After all, the world gives me countless examples on how to live so! I become blind and numb to the fact that there is a fuller, deeper, more beautiful life available to me. So I am not a gardener, but I do garden.
That reminds me… I need to water my plants…
- Posted by hellobabs
- On April 12, 2017
- 0 Comment