<--- This picture over here is the current size of my rose bush. Looking really good, isn't it?! It began as a tiny little thing, and really I haven't done much to it at all, but it has grown. Oh, I learned my lesson about weeds and have worked to keep the flower bed free from those little invaders. But I haven't fed the roses anything special or really done anything other than weed pulling, and yet, they're flourishing. Literally! So I got to thinking about what my garden is still trying to teach me about life, and I've come up with a few things...
|This is how small it was...|
First...We are meant to grow and thrive. Now, that sounds a bit simplistic at first, but when you think about it a minute, maybe it'll hit you like it did me. Living things grow. It's what we were made to do. And even when we don't do anything to promote that growth, we still grow. It's in our nature to do so. But we were also meant to thrive. Once I removed the weeds, this rosebush began to flower more profusely. It's size increased dramatically. After I took away what was inhibiting it's natural inclination to grow, it didn't just get bigger...it became beautiful! Jesus calls this having life to the fullest...or in abundance. How many times I've allowed limitations that I've imposed on myself to impact what my Creator meant for me to have or do or be! What if I just kept my weeds taken care of...kept the bad habits in my life under control, or better yet, just eliminated them altogether? What would my life look like? Would I bloom like my rosebush did? I can't help but think the answer to that is yes...which leads me to my next learning from the garden.
And isn't that how it really goes in life? If it's not one thing, it's another...and we need to successfully navigate these moments in our lives or risk allowing the roots of bad habits to take hold and sap our strength and nutrients for living the good life we want for ourselves. The journey to a new me is always going to be a journey, I think. I'm not sure that even when I "get there", I'll have the luxury of sitting back and enjoying the view. I'm going to have to be alert...keep my eyes open for weeds to grow...even expect them to want to take root and then keep them pruned out of my life. Just like with my garden, that's a daily...or sometimes even hourly...pursuit.
I'm really grateful to my aunt for giving me this garden for my birthday nearly 6 months ago. It's taught me so much about life!