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A Place to Grow

So Amy and I built a vegetable garden. As with lots of home projects, it was way more work than we expected. It required a vision, planning (and change of plans), materials, and a whole lot of work. Last year we started talking about it (and asking friends a million questions). Over the winter Amy drew up some plans. In the early Spring she and the kids planted some seeds in recycled milk jugs and placed them on our deck to grow. We changed our plans a bit as time went on, but the main vision stayed the same. We picked out the location in our yard, we knew it needed a tall fence to keep the deer and other critters out, and we knew we wanted raised garden beds.

 

So I borrowed a machine, got the fencing materials, dug a perimeter, built the fence with the posts in the ground, backfilled in the trench, cleared the remaining dirt/rocks, made and attached the gate, leveled the ground, ordered raised garden beds and got some dirt (I was VERY excited about the dirt). It took longer than expected. All the while, those seeds in the milk jugs had sprouted and begun growing into small plants. However, because it took so long to get the garden ready, the plants stopped growing at a certain point. Fortunately, we planted some of our beans in another garden from last year. Immediately they began growing like weeds. What was the difference? With the right environment and the right nutrients, all it took was a place to grow.

 

All this gardening talk has me thinking about our spiritual lives. Are we still growing and producing fruit or has our spiritual growth stalled? The seeds of faith have been planted in our souls, hopefully they have grown into lives of faith, but sometimes we find ourselves in spiritual ruts. Maybe our prayer life starts to stagnate, our zeal for God's Word fades, we fall back into old patterns and Jesus takes a lesser place in our lives. Maybe it's because life just gets so busy that we get distracted. Maybe we're going through a hard time. Or maybe we grow bored of our usual faith-building practices.

 

To help us grow, let's ask ourselves, do we regularly get together with other believers to pray and study God's Word? Do we have people that encourage our faith and people whose faith we encourage? Do we listen for the voice of the Spirit and take active steps of obedience? Do we find joy in joining God's work as his servants? As a church, we need to be regularly asking those questions. The church has a responsibility to our members and the members have a responsibility to each other to encourage reading God's Word, worshiping Jesus with our whole hearts, meeting together, and living obediently in service. In that kind of environment, imagine how we can grow together as followers of Jesus. Imagine the difference our growing spirituality can make on our community. How can you be in a better place to grow as a follower of Jesus today?

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