My mom always has the best flower beds around. After retiring from being an office manager, she fulfilled her dream to become a master gardener. She knows her stuff! Also as I said in my bio, I grew up on a small family farm. Besides his white collar job during the day, my dad would lead the charge with all the work for the family to get done for the farm. The crops we grew were corn, oats, wheat, soybeans and then cut hay. So I consider my mom an expert in growing landscaping plants and my dad an expert in growing crops.
It is no wonder that one of my hobbies or interests that I love is plants and landscaping. It takes me outdoors with the beautiful things God created and gave us to grow and enjoy! Also I have to mention that something must have rubbed off from my side of the gene pool, because my oldest daughter will soon have her four year degree in Botany and looks forward to pursuing plant studies for her advanced degrees.
Having said all that…Let me get to the main point of this blog post. It takes extremely hard work to have great looking fields (and flower beds) and high yielding crops. It takes so much blood (sometimes ouch roses!), sweat, and back aches to achieve optimum results. All the weeding/tilling, the fertilizing, watering, did I mention WEEDING!!!!!!! It takes a lot of work.
I think we can all agree that “bad things happen to good people”. If you are alive and part of humankind, bad things can happen in one of three ways: Brought on by you/me, by others, and by those “acts of God.” How about some examples…..
- Brought on by you/me: running a stop sign (ticket and/or accident), failure to perform a job duty (written up and/or fired), not paying utility bill (late fee/cut off).
- Brought on by others: being in a car going through the intersection when someone runs a stop sign – CRASH, someone breaks into your house and steals your property, someone lies to slander your character.
- Brought on by an “act of God”: a terminal illness, a sudden death (heart attack, stroke) natural disaster.
When bad things happen to us, we have the choice to make a natural response (EASY and popular) or the Christ-like response (HARD WORK, not popular).
Let me continue the trend of using the “letter B” to finish my illustration….. When the bad happens, I would bet everyone’s initial reaction is to bristle. I would immediately say, “Wow, I can’t believe that really happened!” I think that is a very natural reaction. From this initial reaction, we must then be aware of our attitude that sets the course to the final response. Please excuse my vulgar slang, but I want to be “real” to make a point; if bristle gives into bitching then we have an attitude of pride and a spirit of complaint – focus on me/you. However, if bristle gives way to an attitude of bowing then there is humility and a servant’s heart that begins with prayer.
Once you’ve determined the bitching or bowing attitude, then next comes whether you bite or bless. Those that bite will bring their venom and vitriol. They will let the cruel and bitter criticisms fly. All the poison they can shoot. Those that want to be Christ-like will turn to the Spirit of God living inside them and verbally with volition, choose to bless God and be a blessing to others. Finally, we then see the results play out with a life that either is living to blame or bloom. Those that blame will always show signs of atrophy in their spiritual life, as you go to a darker and more bitter place. On the other hand, those that have this servant Christ-like attitude and response, they will see huge growth for God!
It takes a lot of work to bloom. The easy way out is to blame.
Don’t forget about what Jesus said about being His disciples, they will
deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
Matt 16:24-25, Matt 10:38-39, Luke 9:23