By Pastor Christie John          Geneseo United Methodist Church, Buckingham

For years we lived in apartments or houses where I just couldn’t plant a garden, but I almost always found a spot outside for a container or two of flowers. It became a Mother’s Day tradition for me to go to our local nursery, browse the vibrant tables filled with bedding plants, and purchase a few to bring home. I planted them with high hopes, but it generally didn’t take too long before I started feeling discouraged. Although my flowers always looked great when I first put them in, they were soon kind of wilted and scraggly-looking. I regularly watered them and tried to make sure they got the right amount of light, but by July the colorful blossoms were usually spent and the foliage was barely hanging on.
I had a friend, on the other hand, whose flowers always looked spectacular – like the containers featured in the magazines and catalogs. One day I asked, “What is your secret? How do you get your flowers to grow so well all summer long?” She seemed puzzled by my question. “I just make sure they get the right kind of light and water them regularly with a little Miracle Gro.” A-ha! There was the trouble! You see, in order to be frugal I had been reusing potting soil from previous years. At first, the flowers I planted grew great, because they were getting fed by the fertilizer-rich soil that surrounded them from the nursery. Eventually, this soil was depleted and my plants became malnourished and weak. I immediately purchased some fertilizer and the results were amazing! Within a few weeks, my plants were as lush and pretty as when I first purchased them.
When it comes to keeping our faith growing, healthy and blossoming, I think we’re an awful lot like those container plants. When we go to worship, we are joyfully “planted” in the rich soil of worship, study and prayer. But when we get “transplanted” to everyday life, it doesn’t take long before those wonderful resources are depleted. If we don’t get a regular dose of spiritual nourishment throughout the week, it’s pretty easy to get depleted, limp and straggly. However when we enrich our days with even just a few moments of Bible reading and prayer, the Lord replenishes our spirits and perks us up with new life, hope and vitality!

“Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:30-31)