Monday, May 31, 2010

Yet More Lessons From My Flower Garden

Today I had to remove a gorgeous flowering plant from my flower garden. Sad but necessary.

I wish I could tell you what this plant is called but I have no clue. I knew 5 years ago, but so much has happened since then and my brain is constantly having to kick out old info to make room for new. I wish my brain were spongier.

I have about 12-13 flowering plants in my garden. Last summer, one of them grew to about 10 times the sizes of all the others, and began to overshadow the entire garden. It was bigger than any of my bushes. It made no sense. It offends in many ways. It makes the rest of my flower garden difficult for me to see and enjoy. It prevents some of the other flowers from getting sunlight. It is as if it wants the entire flower bed to itself. It is the attention seeker....and because of its large presence, everything else is almost hidden.

I hated to....I really really did, but I knew that for me to get my garden back to a a reasonable balance, I would need to remove the flowering plant that was taking over. For now I have just cut it way down, so later I can just dig it up and plant it somewhere else....hopefully successfully. As I was working in the garden this morning my mind was going a million places, as usual. I had the thought that I never considered I would need to uproot anything from my garden other than weeds. Meaning, I never thought I'd have to cut down a good thing. The plant itself wasn't bad, there was just too much of it and it was creating negative outcomes.

When we analyze our lives and re-evaluate aspects of it from time to time, I think we'd all agree there are times we have to eliminate some bad stuff from our lives. We are either reading too many celebrity mags, watching too much TV, eating too many sweets (except chocolate of course), spending too much time on the internet, coveting our neighbors blow up Christmas Elmo too intently, not praying enough, etc. I can actually think of about 700 more things which is there is far too much opportunity to participate in bad habits. Those bad habits are the weeds. Those suckers need to be yanked out by the root, and possibly treated with some weed prevention agent to protect the health of the good plants. But when we think about making changes in our lives, I don't think we often stop to consider that there can be too much of a good thing crowding out and overshadowing other many "would-be" good things. When we allow one thing in our lives to get too big and take over, we are possibly preventing the sun from shining on the other things that need to grow.

If we focus everything on our children, then our marriages may suffer. If we nurture and feed career but neglect the family, from where will it get its nourishment? When we drop everything to run to the aid of a friend, but fail to see that someone in the family needs a bandage, infection may set in. When we bank all of our future on one ability, you could wake up one morning to find out that the dog pee'd on your biggest plant and its no longer the focal point of the garden.

I cut down a beautiful plant today. It was healthy. It was blooming. And it was right where I intended for it to be all along. But it began to threaten the potential of everything else around it.

Sometimes you have to reevaluate the good things, make adjustments, and nurture what has been neglected.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Great analogy. You are so good at that! I'm experiencing this in my own life right now, with my writing--letting it become an idol to me.

I can relate to the difficulty of sacrificing a beautiful plant. We had to cut down my favorite cypress tree because the roots were literally covering a quarter of the yard and threatening to wreck the patio. Man, it's hard to part with something beautiful like that.