Fuzzy Thoughts of David

Like a Plant…

Flowers at Branson “The spiritual life is like a plant growing in a garden” – Dr. Susan Muto

I’m not much of a gardener myself. My daughter wanted a garden when she was about eight years old. She wanted to use her birthday money to purchase seeds. So, as any good parents would do, we let her purchase seeds. It was then that I realized that a garden doesn’t just “happen.” A garden takes work. It takes a lot of work.

First I had to prepare the ground since we never had a garden before. This meant buying dirt (which I think is completely wrong…paying for dirt!) to add to the sandy soil we have. Then came the planting, the watering, the weeding, the watching, putting up a fence to keep our dog out…etc. To be honest, we are not real good at gardening because we want the garden to just grow. We didn’t weed that often and it was hard to remember to water it.

What was the outcome? Some plants grew and others didn’t. The corn never came up. Neither did the green peppers. We did have some beans and jalapeno peppers though. It was kind of a hit and miss garden I guess.

I think Dr. Muto is correct. Our spiritual life is like  a plant in a garden. John Wesley talked about the change that happens when we are regenerated. That is as if God is planting a seed into the soil of our soul (soil he prepared through prevenient grace). There is a good chance that the seed will grow, but there is a chance that it won’t grow.

Wesley talked about the importance of keeping the ordinances of God. He felt prayer (private and public), scripture reading (private and public), attending the Lord’s supper, community and other such acts were vital to one’s spiritual life. For me, these things are the weeding and watering of the spiritual life. Keep in mind that we don’t ’cause’ the growth because of what we do. God is the one who provides the growth all through grace. What the disciplines (ordinances) do is put us in a position where we might receive that grace. After all, Wesley called them the “means” of grace. They are avenues in which God’s grace can flow into our lives. By neglecting them, we neglect the very things that can help our spiritual garden be a beautiful garden.

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