Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I didn't mean to kill them....

My poor plants...they never really had a chance. I am definitely not my mother. She could grow the most beautiful plants in some of the most unusual places. I remember that she was happiest when she was up to her elbows in dirt and surrounded by her flowers. But as I said, I am not my mother.

I was so excited at the thought of creating my own little herb garden in my window sill. The thought of fresh peppermint and spicy peppers filled my dreams. Things began promisingly enough. The little seeds quickly sprouted into tender young shoots in their little miniture green house. They pushed at the top of the plastic and I knew it was time to move them to a slightly larger pot...or so I thought.

I transplanted my seedlings to a larger pot and placed them lovingly back into my windowsill. I even misted them gently with water. Yes, these would be my crowning achievement. Finally, I would grow something! Then my son closed the shutters, and the trouble began.

I didn't think much of it at first. My son often closes the kitchen shutters, although I really don't know why. I love the sunlight streaming in....he prefers things a bit cooler and darker. At any rate, the shutters were closed and my plants completely left my thoughts. It was truly a case of out of sight, out of mind. When I finally thought to open the shutters a few days later, my poor little seedlings were nothing but little lifeless straws draped over the sides of their new pots. I had killed again.

It is there that the random thoughts kicked in...along with a lot of disappointment. You see, those plants were not where I could easily see them each day, and since I truly had not developed the habit of caring for them, I quickly forgot their existence. I'm sure I could have been reminded, but on my own I never gave them even a passing glance. My harvest died from neglect.

God's Word can be that way, too. I guess that's why God told us in Deut. 11, (Message translation) 18-21 Place these words on your hearts. Get them deep inside you. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder. Teach them to your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning until you fall into bed at night. Inscribe them on the doorposts and gates of your cities so that you'll live a long time, and your children with you, on the soil that God promised to give your ancestors for as long as there is a sky over the Earth.

God knows I'm not the only one who is forgetful. That's why He told us to keep His Word ever before us and let it get deep inside us. For when we allow His Word to be "out of sight", it can soon become "out of mind" as well. It takes practice and spending time daily letting the words become a part of who we are. If we are able to do this, then even in times of drought, there will be a wellspring from within to sustain us.

I wish I had paid more attention to my mother when she was planting. If I had, I might be sipping mint tea right now instead of the plain variety. I wonder what would happen if we all spent time sharing the stories of how God has planted His Word in our lives with our children. The world might be a very different place.

I may keep at least one of those pitiful dead plants around for a while just as a reminder. Each time I see it, I will be reminded how important it is to keep God's Word ever before me and constantly shared with those I love. This harvest is one that is too important to neglect....

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