I went out to take care of my flower pots one morning last week. This was long overdue. I mean long overdue. Every flower was dead. Many leaves were dead. The dirt was dry. But, all was not lost. There were still some green leaves and a few stubborn beginnings of new blooms. I am confident that with a bit of dead-heading, fertilizer, and water, they will bloom again.
I’m not much of a gardener—well, that’s stating the obvious. I love the flowers on my deck and hanging baskets on my front porch. I love having flowers blooming in the landscape around the house and yard. But I also hate getting out there in the hot sun and pulling the weeds and digging in hard dry ground after there hasn’t been any rain. I hate dragging the hose across the yard to water landscaping that isn’t right next to the house. I hate sweating. I hate bugs and creepy crawlies. I hate bending over and stooping and all the other hard things it takes to keep things looking beautiful instead of forlorn.
When I purchase flowers to plant in the spring, I am full of excitement at the beauty of my yard after a long hard winter. But when the spring is over and the hot summer sun is beating down, and I get busy, it is easy to forget that those plants are fragile and need water every day. . . not just when I remember or when I have time or when it is convenient.
I have gotten smarter as I have matured, and I count the cost before I plant lots and lots of plants. This year I only had two pots on the deck and two baskets on the front porch. And I was doing pretty well until August when life got busy. And it never rained. And so today, I took action.
Despite not loving the care the flowers take, I can never go outside to work on flowers or pull weeds without the spiritual lessons staring me right in the face.
We are like those fragile plants and flowers. We need care to bloom. And though God has provided us everything we need to be healthy and fruitful, we must nurture our spirits in the same way I need to nurture the plants. We must feed and water the roots. We must pick away all the dead and unproductive leaves and blooms that have died. And even though this can be hard work, we must do the work to allow new blooms to come up in different areas of our lives. In order to thrive, we must feed on the Word of God.
Oh, we may neglect the Word and prayer for a while and not die out totally. There will still be some foliage; some may even be a rich and vibrant green. But the blooms will have stopped; there will be no variety of color. And eventually, if we continue the neglect, even the foliage will wither away.
If you feel you have lost some of your bloom, today is a great day to do some weeding, watering, and fertilizing. Summer is dwindling, but there is still plenty of time for rich, vibrant blooms to develop. It’s the perfect time of year for flowers to give off bright color as the hot days give way to cooler temperatures and morning dew. It’s the perfect time of year for a fresh start.
After 30 years in teaching, I always think of September as the beginning of a new year and new things. The days are cooler and still offer a lot of daylight. I still have energy and hope. January seems a dreary time for New Year’s resolutions—dark, dreary, cold. September is a much better time to begin new plans. And the foundation of our plans should always be time spent with the Lord, listening to His direction and discovering His plan for us. As we grow in the fruits of the Spirit, we can bloom where we are planted, exhibiting the full, rich color of a life submitted to Him.
If it has been a while since you picked up your Bible or ask God to guide your day, spend some time with Him. I am confident your bloom will return, refreshed and revitalized for a new season and new year.