One beautiful day, early in the spring, my husband Craig and I went out for a Sunday drive. Along the way we stopped at an outdoor nursery a few miles from our house.
We found a palm, hibiscus, mother-in-law tongue, a Mexican petunia and a few other plants to complete our front and back porches.
After we finished our errands, we headed home. A few days later, we proceeded to plant them.
Now my husband is a Professional landscaper by trade, so he is very familiar with all things outdoors. Whether he is showing me the difference between a Sycamore and a Birch tree while taking a walk, pointing out a type of bird that has stopped for a visit in our backyard, or drawing my attention to ants tending their anthill while we are walking a trail, life with Craig is always an adventure. With him, I learn something interesting while doing ordinary things outside.
As Craig was pulling out one of the plants from the container, I noticed something.
The roots were wrapped tightly all around the plant ball and he was turning it around while spearing at the roots with a shovel, breaking them up. Being the greenhorn that I am, I asked him, “Why are you doing that?”
And He said, “Well, this plant is root bound, and has become unhealthy so I am stimulating its growth for the new, larger pot we are planting it in so that there is room to grow.”
Hmm, it made me think.
Craig and I are a lot like that plant at the moment, in this season of our lives. About a year ago, we started feeling what I will call divine discontent, and started praying for Gods leading and timing on what to do about it.
We finally felt it was time to make some changes. And so we have been looking and praying for direction as to where to go, and what direction to go next.
In a personal way, we are a lot like that plant. Our roots had gotten unhealthy and stagnate. We had been at somewhat of a stand still in our lives and there was not much fruit to show for it. We needed room to breathe and expand, and to be replanted in a new place.
There was almost a holy restlessness, a frustration that we couldn’t quite get rid of. And it seemed God was shaking us up at our very core to STOP. To STOP going thru the motions, to STOP putting our game face on, to STOP being complacent! He was up to something and everything that had been comfortable and safe was being shaken out from under us.
Stepping away from our comfort zone in some areas felt lonesome, yet liberating. In the middle of it all, we knew that God was working in us and moving us toward something bigger than us.
“The secret of the life of a tree is that it remains rooted in something other and deeper than itself.”
Back to the plants… something else I noticed that Craig often does after we have planted our flowers. Besides watering them, he pays close attention to the pots for several weeks, re-positioning them as necessary to make sure they are in the right spot to get the sunlight or shade they require, in addition of course, to the constant watering that they need.
We too need to be like a heavenly gardener over our own spiritual lives. We must purposefully watch over our own hearts to make sure we are in the right place at the right time, and that we are flourishing. Luke warm is not God’s favorite temperature, and it shouldn’t be ours!
We must be constantly feed ourselves the spiritual nutrients we need so that we will bloom where we are planted.
It would serve each of us well to do a “pot check” on our selves. The proof is in the growth, the fruit…and that all starts with the roots.
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him.
7 Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him.
Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught… “
Colossians 2:6-7, New Living Translation
“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.
Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.”
Ephesians 3:17, New Living Translation