My husband is the one who does pretty well all the work in the yard: weeding, mowing, picking up debris, watering. He keeps tabs on all the critters coming and going; and what needs to be done or cut back. Although I may step in and help him a tiny bit sometimes, my designated tasks are to pick any fresh produce and then do with it whatever needs to be done in the kitchen; and to deadhead the flowers.
In years past, I used to be fastidious about deadheading. Every few days I’d peer intently at our petunias or begonias or moss roses, and glean all those blooms that were past their time. Sometimes I would be ruthless, picking off those that showed even a slight bit of decay, leaving only the freshest of the new blossoms.
Any more, I’m lucky if I get out there once a week. But when I do, I like to be thorough. I bring my little bucket with me. I have forsaken gloves, since the flowers are always sticky, and my fingers work best unhindered for this undertaking.
This week, as I picked off the spent petals, pedicels, leaves, and stems, I pondered the lessons God had for me.
When I remove the old, dead stuff, it makes way for new life to begin and grow. I need to do that in my life. Do I have old habits? Television I shouldn’t be watching? Words I should stop using? Attitudes and negative thoughts that I need to prune out? If I remove my dead stuff, what might God replace it with?
I am amazed, each time I deadhead, that I can easily miss so many dead parts. I nip each one I see, going through the plant, inside to outside, up to down. Then, when I take a step to the side, or turn the pot to begin another section, I suddenly detect one or more dead heads that I missed in the previous section. How could I have missed those? They’re so obvious!
I think my sins are like that. God gives me lessons each day. I learn and grow in Him. As I do, my perspectives change, and I see things in a new light. When I look at myself from this new perspective, I discover parts of me that I need to delete, repent of, and/or steer in a different direction. How did I miss those obvious flaws before?
God is the Great and Tender Husbandman in our lives. He grafts us into His vine, He tends to us with intimate care, provides for our every need. He wants us to grow and flourish. My responsibility is to be obedient to Him, and to give willingly what He’d like to prune out.