I sit on my deck and dream. It’s spring and the air is crisp and refreshing. I’ve carefully placed tender flowers of pink, white, yellow, and brilliant magenta in freshly-potted soil. I picture entertaining friends encircled by flowers during summer evenings. At least, that’s what I plan in May.
By the end of June, the flowers are struggling to withstand the scorching sun and oppressive humidity. Determined, I try to remember to lug my watering can from pot to pot. Water, the life-preserver. As the days grow longer and hotter, I water more, pluck the spent blooms and mix in fertilizer to rebuild their strength. “You can do it, little flowers. Just a few more months. Hang on.”
Confession: by mid-July, my care-tending has grown tiresome. I sit inside enjoying the air-conditioning and gaze at the heat waves floating up from the deck surface. “It’s so hot!” I whine. The flowers are left to fend for themselves. Before long they’ll gasp and wither into crispy twigs. So much for my role as the Queen of Flora.
Do I neglect my soul like I do my flowers? When the days feel long or oppressive, do I take the lazy way and pamper myself with the air-conditioning of pleasure? I will, at times, entertain my mind with distractions like television or social media. When the sun sets on that oppressive day, I wonder if I am richer in soul.
What is my life-preserver? Jesus. He gives me the water that keeps me going. He’s the fertilizer that strengthens and grows. So, when I need him most—when life feels parched and needy—I run to the Scriptures that bring life. But, that takes training my heart to respond. When I’m not looking, I tend to grab any flashy life-preserver tossed in my direction. Even though I know better
I’m learning that it depends on me. Me turning to Him. He will supply all of my needs and unlike my flowers, it’s up to me to add what I need. Just like mixing fertilizer, my faith needs some additives to grow strong and healthy. Maybe it’s time to pull out the watering can.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and octaviolopez.)
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