My Homework Assignment

Aug 14, 2009

Richard Gotthardt

I decided that I ought to do my own “homework” assignment from Sunday night’s message.  If you recall, it was actually Jesus who invited us to “consider the birds of the air” and “the flowers of the field”.  The word that Jesus used for “consider” means to contemplate, think on, reflect.  So, more than just a passing glance or thought, but taking the time to sit and ponder.  Monday morning, I went to a local coffee shop and sat outside near a tree and some flower planters, ready to reflect.

But almost immediately I found myself distracted by my own internal noise.  Thoughts of my tasks for the week, issues that were pending, relationships that needed attention began buzzing around in my mind.  I began wondering to myself how much time I really should allot to this little exercise.  After all, there was stuff to do!  Important stuff!

And then the irony of the moment hit me.  This was precisely the point of the exercise!  Becoming so concerned and consumed with the stuff of life that I’m unable to simply settle down in Jesus’ presence is a problem.  So, I relaxed a bit.  It helped.
I began to notice that the tree in front of me, surrounded at the base by brickwork, had some green shoots popping up near its trunk.  Insistent, natural growth.  Nobody did anything to make it happen- it just popped up.

And then I looked up to one of the planters sitting atop a low wall.  It had been left unattended also.  But instead of spontaneous growth, this one’s contents had withered and died.  What once was green and colorful was now simply brown, dead leaves.
Both had been left unattended, but the difference between the two was apparent.  The shoots near the tree drew their life from the rich nutrients of the massive root system of the adjacent tree.  It’s life was so wide and deep that new life simply shot up and out all around it.  The planter—it had no such benefit.  A few plants in shallow soil that had briefly received attention.  When briefly neglected, they quickly died- they weren’t connected to a source of life.

Lots of great insights flow from here- fertile thoughts, if you’ll excuse the pun.  But rather than drawing all the lines in myself, I thought I’d let you do some of that on your own.  Let me start us off, though.  Right now in your life, how closely connected are you to the Source of life?  How much are you drawing your daily strength and direction from Him?  How do you do that (or miss doing that)?  OK, you can take it from there…. Enjoy!

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