I’ve already confessed to you guys that I am not a plant person. Don’t get me wrong, I really try. I actually envy people who can keep them alive, well, not just alive, but make them thrive. I have walked into homes that looked like they could be showcased on the Home and Garden channel. I turn green with envy. I occasionally get to a mall that has those monster peace lilies that look spectacular, like they live in a green house, but instead they are sitting inside a mall full of people and little sunlight. I should stop sometime and just give a hearty round of applause when I see one of these in honor of the person who takes care of it. I am in awe, and they deserve the honor as far as I’m concerned. Don’t even get me started on the cute little tomato tower thingies and perfect gardens that I see posted on Facebook – yeah, I just keep on scrolling. (Of course the owners of these showpieces are usually standing by the plants in the picture looking fresh and wonderful, like all that gardening was no big deal.) And then there’s my peace lilies. I have a few that refuse to die, they obviously have a strong desire to live. They may not look as thick and healthy as they would if someone (anyone) else owned them, but they are alive! (I remind them of this often. I’ve heard people say it helps your plants if you talk to them, I wonder if threatening them counts?) If I have the nerve I will post a picture or two of the poor things. I have found that these plants really do require “tending to.” Watering, picking off the dead pieces, adjusting them so each side gets adequate sunlight. I’m sure there’s more, but, with my brown thumb, I am not sure what else. I have one slightly pitiful one that dates clear back to when one of my kids was born, don’t quite remember which one. And the more recent ones are from my precious momma’s funeral. As you can see, I really do have a reason to fight for their lives. I’ve been thinking of my plants a lot lately. Mainly because I bought a new plant for my back porch. I have NO IDEA what I was thinking. I know how I am, and yet in my most vulnerable moments, I buy a new one. Clearly, I need help with this problem of denial that I seem to lapse into at times. I want a green thumb so badly. But, alas, every day I walk out to my car through the back porch and the poor thing looks a little worse. A little more wilted, more dead leaves on the ground below it. I think to myself, “I have got to water that poor thing, but not now, I am late for work.” And off I go, fully intending to water it later and hydrate some fresh life back into it. But again, alas, I come home from work, a lot on my mind (or on the phone) and I walk right by it and forget all about it only to repeat the same cycle the next morning. This poor plant in particular is so pitiful when it needs water. It will literally completely wilt and look completely dead and then within hours of watering it, it will perk back up and you can hardly tell that I was about to play taps over it earlier. One of the most dramatic “come backs” I’ve ever seen. Seriously. Sadly, I still don’t think it’s gonna make it, but it has given me a lot to think about, and renewed hope. How, you ask? Well, I realize that when I water it and “tend” to it like it needs (and deserves) then it thrives and looks (and if you could ask it, it would probably say it feels) better too. Same with our spirit. We neglect the life giving “hydration” of God’s word and time spent alone with him in prayer, we begin to wilt like my porch plant. But, as soon as we do the things to refresh our spirit that we know to do, we perk back up and begin to feel so much better, and even look better. Being consistent in doing what will keep us spiritually alive is not a choice, but a necessity if we want to thrive. And thriving is so much better than just hanging on. Don’t ask my plants that though, ask the peace lily in the mall, the one that looks like it came out of the Garden of Eden. Thriving is better. So, let me challenge you to pick up your Bible today, read something encouraging, maybe Psalm 23, and see if you don’t feel refreshed. Well, I guess I’ll go out and see how my porch plant looks today, poor thing. Probably needs water or a new owner. Maybe both.
In case you don’t have a Bible handy, I am going to copy Psalm 23 below:
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.