Made for another world

"If I discover within myself a desire which no experience in the world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world." C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Adventures in Gardening ~ Pruning

My adventures in gardening are beginning to pay off. I will be eating squash in no time and my cherry and Roma tomato plants are full of light green orbs!
Maggie, my trusty helper, choosing a tool to dig up some weeds.
The senior pastor at our church is part of a large farming family and has gardened for many years. I'm grateful for the help he's given me with the starting of my little plot. Yesterday he stepped over to the parsonage and we took a look at my garden. He helped me identify "suckers" on my tomato plants, breaking off the little branches at the joint, lightening their load. I had not been as vigorous in pruning as I should have been.
Squash blossom!
A gardening article says this about the need to prune tomato plants: "If unsupported, the increasing weight of filling fruit and multiple side branches forces the plant to lie on the ground. Once the main stem is horizontal, there is an increased tendency to branch. Left to its own devices, a vigorous indeterminate tomato plant can easily cover a 4- by 4-foot area with as many as 10 stems, each 3 to 5 feet long. By season's end, it will be an unsightly, impenetrable, disease-wracked tangle...A properly pruned and supported single-stem tomato plant presents all of its leaves to the sun. Most of the sugar produced is directed to the developing fruit, since the only competition is a single growing tip. The result is large fruits that are steadily produced until frost." (Pruning Tomatoes, Fine
little Roma tomato!
What an amazing parallel for us to consider. Without the proper support and pruning we will become "an unsightly, impenetrable, disease-wracked tangle" ourselves. And that disease and mess will spread to the rest of the garden, to the family and church we're a part of. Suckers, excess stems shooting out from the main branch, sap the energy required to produce large, healthy, regular fruit. They can also compromise the strength of the main branch. In our lives beliefs and priorities that looked promising, green and flourishing, often turn out not to be.

Commitment to time in God's word and prayer, and relationship with fellow believers, offer us the support we need to avoid sprawling in an unsightly mess. Likewise let's ask our dear Gardener to prune suckers from our lives. In my own life facebook can be a terrible sucker, sapping time and energy from the greater priorities of parenting my children and a devotion to prayer.

What are some of the ways you are lacking support in your life? Have suckers taken over fundamental priorities? If so our faithful Gardener is willing to prune and re-order if we will submit to him. It is his great joy to lift us upright and strip away useless distractions in order to produce in us fruit for the good of the whole body.

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