Growing

on

I’ve got lots of little seedlings sprouting in peat pots on my kitchen counter right now.

It’s not time to put them in the ground just yet; we’ve got almost another month until the last danger of frost. But I’m hopeful I’ll have good, strong, seedlings to go in the soil by the end of April.

Gardening always translates so well in other areas of life; in fact, Jesus talked quite a bit about the kingdom of heaven using parables about seeds and growth and weeds and harvest.

So that brings me to the question I have for all of us:

What are you growing right now?

You may not be into gardening. But there are things we all nurture in life. Another important thing to consider is whether the things we allow to grow in our lives are helpful or harmful.

Are you planting seeds of anxiety by keeping the (bad) news on constantly in the background as you go about your day or are you encouraging peace to bloom as you study God’s word faithfully each morning?

Are you nourishing your body to health with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, or are you feeding disease and lethargy with processed, fake, additive-laden junk?

Are you growing community; investing in friendship; dedicating time and energy to love and serve those around you; or are you allowing the love of comfort and the unwillingness to be bothered to wrap around you like a vine; confining you to a “safe” space where others can’t get in?

Are you pouring into your own growth; becoming better, stronger, and wiser in the areas you’d like to improve in, or are the weeds of complacency and fear stronger than the effort it will take to ensure you are thriving?

Y’all. I wish I could say I always nurture that which causes such tremendous growth and blessing in my life that it can’t help but spill onto others.

I don’t.

Many times it seems more appealing to just let life happen and make the best of it. It’s easier to reach for the sweet or salty snack rather than to be intentional with the food I put in my body. Instagram is entertaining and the Bible is just going to point out all the areas in which I’m failing. Exercising doesn’t feel good in the moment. Learning a new skill is hard. Opening up to other people is risky.

The above statements are all true, and all reflective of my own fears and hang-ups.

But anything worth having won’t be easy.

Just as a garden requires planning, thought, and continual effort from before the seed is planted until final harvest, so it is with anything else we want to produce in our lives; be it a life-changing faith; a healthy body; a thriving community; a commitment to being a productive person who shows up for ourselves and for others: all take time, energy, and dedication. All take patience and perseverance. But the fruit is so worth it!

Following Jesus isn’t easy, but the alternative is a life wasted and an eternity of regret.

People aren’t always pleasant. But the alternative is a lonely, isolated existence.

Being healthy can seem boring and flavorless. But heart disease doesn’t sound too great, either. Neither does chronic inflammation and all the fun things that come along with it.

Taking time to practice new skills or improve on old ones can seem less enticing than just vegging out and taking it easy. But you’ll literally never move or grow if you’re always glued to the couch. Your stretch pants may grow. But you’ll be the same old you.

I want to flourish in this life, which for me means nurturing the life I have in Christ first and foremost. Without that, nothing else really matters in the end.

So I ask again, what are you growing? Where are you investing your talents, time, and treasure? And what weeds do you need to pull up?

Harvest time will be here before we know it.

Angela

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