Dead Things

Rex’s latest kill. It was a bloodbath.

I’m home today. I took the day off to write a 15-page paper, all part and parcel of theĀ  glamorous life of a master’s student. I already wrote a 10-page paper. This weekend got exceptionally packed with events and I didn’t think I could finish it all. Wednesday we celebrated Zac’s braces removal with dinner at Olive Garden – “no photos, Mom”. Last night was worship practice and all team meeting. Saturday is supposed to be Wild Waves with Ruby and extended family and Sunday is church. And by church, I mean 7:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

I tossed Dakota her lucky ball in the fresh morning air. The pale blue sky held golden clouds pushed along by a slight breeze. We tromped up and down, back and forth. The green Douglas firs sheltered a wealth of birds and their songs.

A couple of weekends ago, we purchased plants for the yard. We picked up several tomato plants. It has been raining off and on for a couple of days. It’s spring in the Pacific Northwest, so one minute it’s blinding sun and the next it’s pouring rain. Dress accordingly. I looked at the plants. Petunias in their cozy white planters looked good. Jonathon’s red and white roses bloomed out, fragrance wafting in the air. Even the blackberries in their blue planters seemed content. But 2 of the smaller tomato plants wilted in their pots. I wondered at this. Yesterday it dumped down rain. We stepped out after rehearsal last night and a pale rainbow arced across the sky. Then it rained some more. How did those 2 plants remain unwatered?

I grabbed the hose and gave them a little liquid. To be fair, I watered most of the plants a bit. I even filled up the bird bath, carefully scraping out the leaf debris. A smaller potted tree rested on the ground next to the bird bath, brown and twiggy. It’s dead, Jim. Has been for awhile, just haven’t gotten around to dumping it. I did not water it. I heard God say, “Don’t water the dead things.”

I felt like that was a word for me and maybe others. Don’t keep putting effort into things that no longer live. Some things will be resurrected and brought back to life, resuscitated into breathing, thriving existence again. Some will not, like the trees. We had hoped they would sprout again after winter; they didn’t. It’s important to know the difference. Discernment is key. As I age, finiteness stares me down. I only have so much time on this earth to do the tasks and love the people assigned to me. I plan on loving as best I can, no matter the response. But I can’t keep hoping and praying and wishing and striving for now fossilized relationships, opportunities and seasons to return. I need to know the season I’m in and celebrate it, make the most of it. It’s all down to surrendering, abiding and letting God bring growth. Not a pretty acronym – SAG – but true nonetheless. Even better, if we clear out the dead things, we can make room for new growth, new pathways and exciting possibilities.