Friday, March 9, 2012

Good Idea

I love plants and flowers. Especially flowers. And I've even been know to say that I enjoy gardening. I love looking at beautiful gardens, full of fragrant, luxurious foliage, which is why I love spring. There is something about it that really appeals to my sense of beauty and life. When it comes right down to it, however, I think I only like the idea of gardening, and not so much the act of gardening itself.  I don't actually enjoy getting down on my knees, with a trowel in one hand and a bucket in the other, getting dirty and sweaty.  And the time it takes! I'm like that with dogs, too. I do really want a (teeny-tiny) dog, I think it would be so much fun. But, as my sister so astutely observed, I may only actually like the idea of having said dog.  Picking up doggy poo does not excite me in the least. Nor does walking the dog when I'm tired, or it's raining. And I can't even imagine how I would react if the dog chewed up some of my furniture or scratched up some wood work. The good would outweigh the not-so-good, I'm sure, and I think I would take it all in stride, but she might just be on to something. Sometimes the idea of a thing is actually more desirable than actually walking it out.

I'm like that with God, too. I do really like the idea of having Him in my life, living for Him, serving Him faithfully, having the Fruits of the Spirit come out in my life, enjoying the benefits of walking His path. It all sounds wonderful. It's a great idea, even, and one I will strive to daily. But often, I like the idea better than living it out, better than actually walking that straight and narrow path even though He makes His promises to the faithful very clear. Occasionally, I'd rather sleep in than go to church.  It is quite often I'd rather just keep all my money for myself rather than give it to church, charities or organizations.  And, at times, I just want to be totally selfish with my time, instead of spending time with God during a devotion/quiet time or serving Him.  I am distracted at every point along the path by selfishness, greed, the promise of great beauty, material possessions, pleasure over pain, gossip, judgement, annoyances and frustrations, and the like. It's too easy for me to slide right into the Heather that reacts without patience, and who buys into the lie that my worth is equal to my outward beauty, or that money could, yes, possibly buy happiness. Ephesians 4:31 says to "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice."  As with most of life, that's easier said than done.  The good news is that 1) I'm on the path to figuring out where to turn! That's a huge step for me.  I don't want to be swaying in the wind with every distraction or idea that comes my way. I want to be rooted in God, with His Word as my guide. 2) The good (the benefit from walking His way, down His path) definitely outweighs the not-so-easy-to-do in this case!

Ephesians 4:22-24 says this:  "...put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, renewed in the spirit of your minds, and...put on the new self, created after likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness".

What a good idea!

picture of garden from

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