This month, our CW blog chain topic is Nurture. There have been a number of excellent posts about it by my chain gang friends; after you get done here, click on this CW Blog Chain link or the one at the top of the page to find the list. Now, on to today’s post…
All (black) thumbs
I’m not the gardener in our family. My youngest brother can coax life out of a stick, while I’m more likely to hasten its decay into compost. Still, I know a couple of things about the practice of gardening. One of them comes courtesy of the Bible:
“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you]. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me.” – John 15:1-4, Amplified Bible
Jesus was speaking of our relationship with God and how He as the Vinedresser prunes our lives so that we’ll bear fruit. The two points in this passage are vital to our growth as followers of Jesus: abiding (dwelling) in Jesus and allowing God to prune our lives.
The principle is the same for other areas of our lives – some activities and practices are suckers, offshoots that sap energy from the main branch. If left unpruned, they can get out of hand and wither our life plant because we get exhausted trying to keep them nourished.
Time management as pruning
Last night, a group of writers from the Christian Indie Authors online group was chatting about Time Management. Chat rooms are generally chaotic anyway, and when you throw a bunch of writers into one place, it’s like herding cats. However, our moderator, Pastor George, does a good job of wrangling us kitties, and some good points did come out of last night’s gathering.
One that we touched on briefly is eliminating distractions, like turning off the Internet or limiting your time on it while you’re writing. That’s the type of pruning I’m talking about; streamlining activities, possessions and whatnot so the things God wants you to accomplish can thrive.
A case of CADD
Someone at church the other day complimented my talents after seeing something I’d crocheted. The folks at Shepherd’s Way already know I make jewelry, and many of them bought Chantal’s Call as soon as the print edition went live. They’ve also seen a few dance specials (with and without hoops). So I knew the sister speaking really meant what she was saying. But I showed her a different take on the situation. I laughed and replied, “I call it Creative ADD.”
A little CADD isn’t bad; it keeps my life interesting and keeps me challenged. But I have to prune it occasionally – turn off the TV, close my Internet connection, put the hula hoops and crochet hooks away for a while, cull my jewelry supply stash and bless other makers with the surplus. Otherwise, my side interests will suck away my writing time. I want them to enrich it by giving my writing depth and flavor, not kill it.
What about you? Do you have some suckers growing on your life plant? What offshoots could you prune to strengthen the energy flowing into your main life plant?