Thursday, June 14, 2018

Reflections - Finding Space to Grow

Here is what I am thinking about this week: What do we need to grow?

Not just physically -  but what do we need to grow intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually?

This week's passage from the Gospel of Mark tells of Jesus using parables about plants to teach about the kingdom of God.

Read Mark 4: 26-34

In this passage, we find Jesus alone with the disciples explaining the parables that he told the crowd earlier in the day.  Quick Sidebar: I love the fact that the disciples, even though they were with Jesus every single day, sometimes still didn't quite get what he was teaching about. There's hope for us, too - right?

Jesus explains to the disciples that he told parables to help people who really wanted to understand what God's kingdom is like.  In the first parable, Jesus says the kingdom of God is like a seed you plant in the ground and then forget about.  The seed sprouts and sends roots into the earth underground but you don't see it. Then, little by little it grows up out of the ground and provides food for you to harvest.

In the second parable,  Jesus tells about the mustard seed that is so tiny that you can barely see it. You plant it and it grows into a plant big enough for birds to find shade.

I think with these parables, Jesus is teaching us that God's kingdom, God's world,  is a place where we can't always see the good things that are growing and thriving - like a seed underground. But if we continue to earn more about God's world every day and we help nurture and take care of it -we will see the beautiful plants and fruits of God's creation.  Jesus is reminding us wonderful and nourishing things can come from teeny, tiny seeds

I am getting pretty good a gardening and keeping plants alive. I haven't always been, but I have learned over the years that more you know about the plant the better you are at taking care of it.  Just like people, not every plant is the same. Some thrive in full sun and some thrive in the shade. Some plants need lots of water and some don't. Some plants need to be trimmed or pruned or flower deadheads pinched off in order to keep blooming.

 It's taken me a while to figure it out - but I have learned that I need to take a break once in a while from everyday life and rest, read, and sometimes just be bored.  Daily life is busy and cluttered and I need some distance from my everyday routines.  This helps me recharge and grow and bloom. Even if it's just an afternoon alone in my tree house - getting away from the everyday routine helps me to think clearly and be more productive.

What do you need to bloom?

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