Thursday, April 7, 2011
A LESSON FROM THE ROSE GARDEN
The sun was blinding as I stepped off the porch. It was going to be another scorching summer day in central Texas. Wanting to cut a few roses from the garden before it got too hot, I hurried to gather my gloves & clippers. For years I’ve had a “rose ministry” using these fragrant gifts from the garden to bless others and I already had a recipient in mind.
In the few days since I had checked on my bushes, one had apparently had a “power surge” and I could see a four-foot shoot protruding out over the lawn. On closer inspection, the hardy stem, although covered with foliage, had no buds. It was unfruitful and drawing much-needed nourishment away from the main bush, which was struggling to produce a few small roses. All that vigorous growth was producing nothing of value…I quickly cut it off as close to the root as I could.
Almost as soon as I did, the thoughts started coming to mind of how that shoot was the picture of a Christian, laboring fervently on something that God didn’t really want him doing, all the while draining energy away from the tasks He desired to have accomplished. One of my husband’s favorite sayings rang true: There is nothing more futile than doing something well that you shouldn’t be doing at all! My pastor had recently put it another way: The greatest failure is being successful at the wrong thing!That branch from my rose bush was being successful at the wrong thing…and it was only fit for the garbage can. What we do in life either reflects that we are cooperating with God’s plans and producing everlasting “fruit” ( …walk in a manner worthy of the Lord…bearing fruit in every good work…Eph. 1:10 ) or following our own desires and producing temporal “trash”. I resolved to be careful to inspect my daily commitments and activities to ensure that I’m not drawing essential energy away from what God wants to accomplish in my life. And, I thanked God for another lesson from the rose garden.ã HJB1-02