Back at the start of spring, Lee and I began doing some yard work at our house. In 2008, we did a complete makeover with mass plantings of trees, shrubs and flowers.
Through the years I noticed that while some of the plantings and shrubbery grew and looked wonderful, some of them did not. As a matter of fact, a lot of them had slowly died. Those that hadn’t prospered or died went into limbo, not healthy but not dead, just surviving somewhere in between.
With the warmer weather and a yearning for the outdoors, I decided to do a little digging and see if I might solve the mystery and hopefully prevent any more loss. As I dug beneath the surface, I found reasons for the shape all the sickly looking plants were in. They had not been properly planted by the landscaper. Instead of good potting soil and mushroom compost underneath them, I found gravel chunks and crushed gravel-like sand as their home. One was doing its best to live growing over a very large plastic drainage pipe. Quite shocked any had survived, I immediately set about moving each one to a place where they would hopefully thrive.
My mind kept wanting to compare people including myself and my spirit to the plantings at Parrish House. If I scratched beneath the surface of my life, what would I see? Am I thriving? Am I growing in good soil? Am I willing to be moved in order to grow?
We can’t expect to thrive if our roots are trying to grow in uninhabitable conditions. I know that and I’ve known that. My plants were just one of many signs. One of the most challenging things in my life has been finding a place within me that doesn’t feel guilt for wanting to move to a different location than one where I’m like my puny plants — trying to thrive in a place that isn’t the best conditions for my spirit to grow.
Even with the right conditions, growing spiritually takes effort. Sometimes, a LOT of it! Regardless of what we encounter on life’s journey we must be diligent in our desire to dig deeper. There is a great reward that comes with growing—a peace that truly does surpass all understanding, a knowing that all really is well within your soul.
I’m hoping that wherever you may be you will find a little piece of that peace today!