Monday, May 7, 2012
FOCUSING ON THE THICK, NOT THE THIN OF LIFE
I attended a writer’s conference this past weekend and, as usual, came home enriched with inspiration, instruction, and the inclination to start a new project. Frustration reared its ugly head, however, over a glitch in the timing of conference agenda items. By nature, I’m impatient and therefore I felt ready to walk out. Christian sense prevailed, however, and I stayed to enjoy the best part of the conference. I must remember that in this world, nothing is perfect.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Blades of Grass
While mowing the lawn for the first time this season, I zipped through some areas of grass as sparse as an old man’s whiskers. Other areas, thick as the hair on a bear’s forelegs, caused me to push for all I was worth with my battery-operated mower that is not self-propelled. The sparse area looked like it hadn’t even been mowed. Conversely, the thick grass looked luxurious and inviting.
Our lives work that way, too. When we work hard at something, it brings us a deep sense of satisfaction for having done a job well. When we fly through a task, the result is often boredom or the sense of being unfulfilled. Think of intelligent school children who are not challenged to learn new and more lessons. Often, boredom brings the desire to start trouble, refuse to follow rules, or skip school. Some even drop out of school. Some take the initiative, however, to strive for excellence and growth by doing extra credit work or seeking new, independent ways of learning.
Of course, many children—and adults—would rather do the minimum amount of work. Like the sparse lawn, they barely get by in most areas of their life.
We can apply this analogy to our spiritual life, too. Many Christians are content to attend church once a week, depending on their spiritual leader to spoon feed them with a short dose of the Word. Some may throw a handful of change in the Christmas kettle, believing they’ve done their Christian duty.
Such a sparse life, like the thin grass, will be prone to dis-ease when drought or flood come. Its shallow roots can easily allow weeds to take over.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15: 5)
God, our spiritual gardener, can cause our immature, thin roots to grow. All we have to do is become willing to follow His instructions. A daily dose of His Word is full of the growth-enhancing minerals we need to become flourishing plants. A constant attitude of praise, thanksgiving, and humility as well as a desire to learn more about His works and wonders will bring richness to our mind and spirit.
Lord, we don’t want to languish like sparse patches of grass, content to take the easy way out. We want to flourish with the fruit of Your Holy Spirit, unafraid of the effort it may involve. Help us to abide in You, to desire nothing so much as to depend on Your grace and love for our growth. In Jesus’ name, amen.