A few months ago, I bought a plant. A succulent. I have never had this kind of plant before in my life. Mind you, my mom is the one who used to grow plants (and flowers) while I was growing up. Occasionally, I would try my hand at African Violets, and I remember having a Boston fern when I was in my 20s. I did alright with those.
I don’t consider myself to have a green thumb, but I do like to try keeping plants around for a little while. Mostly since I’ve been married for the past three years, we have not had any plants in our home because neither my husband nor I have been overly successful with them in the past.
That changed when I got the succulent. I named it Angus.
I looked for information online to help me take care of Angus, and it seemed like it should be an easy type of plant to keep. You didn’t have to water it much, and it didn’t like direct sun. I did great for a couple of months.
Then, one day, I was examining the bottom of the pot for some reason, and saw watering holes in it. I got the “bright” idea to water the plant from the bottom (put water in a tray or container and put the plant in it so that the water would soak up through the bottom). That way the leaves wouldn’t have to be moved (I was afraid of breaking one off).
So, I filled the bottom of the “decorative” pot it also came in part way and let Angus drink. I think it might have been too much, and the water may have been a little colder than I intended as well, but I’m not totally sure on that.
The result: I killed Angus.
I think watering it from the bottom was the mistake. The soil soaked up too much water and within a few weeks, I started noticing that what had been new, green, healthy growth on Angus was now dark, almost black. And that growth was now soggy and goopy. Other leaves on it became soggy and started dying as well.
I was heartbroken, and nearly cried!
I want to get another one to try again, and this time not water from the bottom, but I am a little apprehensive. I feel like I would be throwing money away if I were to get another one to try.
My walk with God can be characterized by a similar aspiration way as well. I start out with a desire or have excitement to start something – a Bible study, reading the Word every day, praying deep and meaningful prayers, wanting to tell others about Jesus, helping people, etc.
I get so excited and begin putting some effort into it; my relationship begins to grow and blossom, and then gradually I up my game and add or increase things to help me grow even more.
And then it happens. I get “water logged” and soon I am drowning in all that excitement and desire. I burn our and end up killing my commitment and my desire. And, once that happens, it can be so hard to get back into the swing of things, which is what the enemy wants.
Recently, I purchased a couple more plants (at separate times). One was not too long after Angus, when he was healthy and alive. This new plant is a Croton, aka Joseph’s Coat. I called this one Baxter, and so far he is doing well. I’m a little fearful, though, that I will kill this one as well. And, not too long after I began working on this post, I purchased a Dragon Fruit Cactus (the spikes on them are soft to the touch). It’s supposed to be very easy to take care of. I’ve named this one Carter.
I really hope that I can keep these plants alive (so far so good), but more importantly, my prayer is that I never give up striving to grow in my relationship with the Lord and to not become stagnant, or kill off the desire to produce the fruit that comes with this relationship.