I have three plants.
Each one is at a different stage in its life and growth. Two are dying. One is thriving.
One of these was planted in haste and in selfishness. I wanted something to have control over. I wanted this in my future. I wanted a little security when everything was going crazy. But the landscape I planted this seed in was harsh and unworked. Rocks and gravel covered the ground; soil slept deep in the layers beneath, untouched and unused.
I was academically drained, emotionally unstable, and spiritually starving. It was impossible for me to have made such a decision wisely.
But I did it anyway.
I planted this seed and watched it sprout in record speed.
But the problem with unworked, harsh ground is there is no soil to provide any depth for the roots to continue to develop and reach further. So it sprouted quickly and just as quickly started to die.
There’s no doubt I tried to save it. Oh, did I try. But feeding a dying plant, pruning it, watering it will do no good if I did not go after what was killing it. So this one is dying. And I cannot save it. Maybe God will replant it one day when I am allowed to work this land and make it able to sustain life. But for now, this plant is no longer mine.
I have two plants.
This plant was grown in very good soil. It was fed well and strengthened in every way possible. Roots dug deep into the soil, and the plant grew and grew.
The bark tells a story filled with adversity, triumph, and love. This plant was burned and cut, yet it still stood where it was, roots so deep in the earth that nothing could extinguish it.
Except old age.
There’s no doubt I tried to save this one, too. I challenged nature and God to a duel for the ages to keep this plant alive. The rings held too many memories of laughter, heartache, and lessons learned for me to let it go without a fight.
But when you take on God, you should expect to eat it pretty bad.
One cannot cure old age no matter what one may believe.
Thus, this plant is also no longer mine.
I have one plant.
This one survived several years of neglect from me, as I was too focused on desperately trying to resuscitate the other two. But what right do I have to choose one life (or two) over another? Thankfully, God doesn’t play by my rules, and He took care of this one Himself, growing it and pruning what hinders its growth. And soon enough, this plant had grown too big to ignore without me realizing it.
It is by His green thumb this little one not only survived my neglect and abuse but is thriving and growing beyond my control.
The roots have dug in deep and are being strengthened in the soil. A world of possibilities lies ahead of this young life – transplanting, germinating, replicating – the sky is the limit.
I have one plant.
Now that I’ve realized it’s here, I have a responsibility to build it up and feed and prune it alongside my favorite Ninja-Gardener.
Little buddy, have we got an adventure ahead of us.