I’m sitting on my porch again this morning. It’s still early so it’s just me, the birds, my bible, journal, a cup of tea – and clippers. That’s right, clippers. And, after I reflect on Scripture, journal, pray, and finish this lovely cup of tea, I will put those clippers to good use.
You see, this summer I bought two gorgeous hanging flower pots to decorate my front porch. I love how they look, but I had no idea just how much tending they would require. Without daily – and if it’s a scorcher of a day, twice daily- watering, they wither. The delicate little flowers turn brown and fall off and the vine-y stems shrivel up like old twine. I know this because when I first hung them, I thought I could water them every other day. Now I know better and they are getting plenty to drink.
But to keep them truly bursting with those gorgeous blossoms, I’ve also learned that they require daily trimming. Each morning, I snip off dead blossoms so that all their stored energy can focus on getting all those new buds to blossom. And as I do, I pray or think quietly aloud – yes, I sometimes even talk to them, but they love it! I love it! We are thriving together.
It just happens that this morning I was reading from the first chapter of James. Found in the New Testament, this chapter is bursting with wisdom and exhortation, but -perhaps because of these hanging plants -I was especially struck by the verse that reads, “For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business” (NIV, James 1: 11).
That verse, combined with my flowers, reminds me that life is indeed fleeting. Like the flowers on my porch – that take my breath away each morning with their delicate beauty – my life, too, is filled with breathtaking blessings and riches – big and small. But like flowers, that can wither and fade even as we go about our business – if I’m not careful, these blessings too can pass by unnoticed and unappreciated. And how awful would it be to have them wither and fade without my even recognizing them or taking the time to tend to and find joy in them! I do not want to be so busy going about my business, that I miss the blessings, big and small, that enrich each day.
My most precious blessing- my family – will soon awaken. And my clippers and that verse have inspired me. No, I’m not going to use clippers on my family. But I am going to grab a spatula and bowl and make them a special pancake breakfast because we are all home today. It’s the Fourth of July and I can’t wait to tend to and find joy in their presence.
Happy Monday, all!