Spirituality needs time to grow

By Debra Whittington: QCS Religion Columnist

My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

— 1 John 3:18

Although the calendar states that spring is still weeks away, the recent warm weather offers a glimpse of things to come. I was outside watering the tree and Rose bushes and noticed tiny buds starting to form on the roses. While the water was running, I bent down to pull out some dead, dried out weeds surrounding them. I felt a sudden urge to get down on the ground and work in the dirt. Unfortunately, I was distracted and never got around to doing anything about it. Instead, I turned off the water and went inside.

Later that day, the mail arrived and I was excited to see a seed catalog among the contents. I didn’t have time to study it carefully, but thumbed through the pages and saw all sorts of plants that I thought would look good in my flowerbed. The pictures of the mature plants started me daydreaming of the possibilities of my own yard. I put the catalog aside to study later and it still sits where I left it.

Today, I was back outside looking at that flowerbed and imagining what it could look like this summer. It was another beautiful day as I sat on the porch soaking up the warm sun. The promise of spring is still here and yet due to experience of living in New Mexico all of my life, I know there is still cold days and freezes before it finally arrives to stay.

I realized there are still several weeks before I can actually plant flowers, but I can start making preparations now. Now is the time during these warm days that I can dig up all of the weeds left from last year and get the soil prepared for planting. Now is the time to place an order from the seed catalog so it will arrive at the appropriate time. Instead of beginning these preparations, I sat on the front porch and dreamed of the beautiful flowerbed I will have this summer.

Unless I get busy soon, the chances of having this dream flowerbed don’t seem possible. Having good intentions doesn’t get the job done. From past experience, I know that in order to get things done, the first step in the process is beginning. Over the years, I enjoyed having a flower garden, but realized that I couldn’t do everything at once. One year, I had several weeds in a spot where I wanted to plant more flowers. These were stubborn weeds with deep roots, but yet I was determined. I started by going out every day and pulling just a few weeds. This process took a couple of weeks, but I got it done. Then, I had to prepare the soil. Using a bucket and a shovel, I brought in fresh soil one bucket at a time. Almost a month later, I was finally ready to plant something.

One may wonder what all of this has to do with spiritual matters and I can say it applies as much to things I do for the Lord as it does for flowers.

Recently, I think about things I need to do. I think about a person who is sick or going through a rough time and how I should send them a card or give them a call to encourage them. Thinking about it won’t get the task done, but actions needs to be taken.

The world is full of people who are in need and are being crowded with the weeds of discouragement or despair. During those times, it is hard to see that the Spring of their situation is right around the corner.

Good intentions are wonderful, but action needs to follow. Some friends and I were talking the other day about our intentions of encouraging others. One friend said she buys special cards, but finds it difficult to sit down and write something and put it in the mail. I have cards on hand and think about sending them, but don’t seem to get around to doing it. I am sure others are the same way and know someone that could use some encouragement. We can bring some sunshine into someone’s life today and I am going to begin right now. First, I need to take that card out of the box and start writing.