Sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday, but to quote an old friend of mine, I was feeling kinda puny. I did my appointed rounds of laundry-folding and meetings. Then, I had to downshift and read a book. As you get older, you find out you’ve read certain books before. It might take, oh, 50 pages or so, then you’re struck with that deja-vu feeling. It hits you: “I’ve read this before!” “This seems oddly familiar.” In the case of this book, I started re-reading it in earnest from the middle, where the main character’s personality started to change for the better.
It’s been a great week. Funky, but great. A few “firsts”, which I love. Ruby and I planted our first amaryllis plant. It was a gift from a friend. If you recall, I have no green thumb. I kill you, plants! If I were Achmed of Jeff Dunham fame. Ruby and I duly soaked the “disk” of soil it came with. When the water completely disappeared, we hollowed out a fist-sized hole and planted the bulb, pointy side up. I’ve been keeping the soil moist. The plant *looks* like it’s growing. To be completely honest, it looks like one of the beast’s horns straight out of Revelation, only light green and minus the eyes and mouth. But I have no clue as to its progress, really, without digging up the bulb and checking for root sprouts. I will keep doing my part of moisturizing and keeping the plant warm. I shouldn’t forget, since it’s on the dining room table, right? I’m going to keep the dream alive. I would hate to disappoint Ruby.
So it is with all new things. We never know what will come up. Yes, if whatever we sow we will eventually reap. Some people call it karma, but it’s a universal principle no matter what you name it. Sometimes the fruit of our labor can take decades to show up in our lives. The seed must be planted, however small the first effort is. You can’t check on the progress of a friendship, at least not without reeking of insecurity and driving your friend away. “Are we good? Wait. Are you mad at me? What did you mean by that?” You know your kids grow, but day by day you can’t see it happening. Food disappears at a rapid rate when Zac’s around. Good sign, that.
There’s an element of trust involved here. We surrender our best efforts to God. We water, perhaps “soaking” ourselves in the Word. We encourage. We exercise and decline the second piece of chocolate cake (usually). We grow upwards as we spend time doing things that edify ourselves and others. And if we had a rocky start, we can change.
The character in the book I was reading was named Miriam. One of Miriam‘s meanings is “bitter”. She deliberately started changing her behavior towards her grown children – never too late! – and those in her circle, leaving behind her unforgiveness and shame. She started to reap benefits right away. Our input does matter. Our undergrowth will be the foundation of our blooms eventually. Give it time.