Saturday, January 15, 2011

Pruning the Dead Areas

Today was the perfect winter day to get out and work in my flower beds.  Lindsey and I spent a couple of hours pruning the dead things from last summers grand finale.    Then at one point, Lindsey asked why we were cutting the dead flowers off.  So I explained that you have to cut the dead ones away, so the new ones can grow in the spring.

It was right about then that the Lord started talking to me along those same lines.   In our lives we go through seasons where things are blooming and flourishing.   However, seasons change and suddenly we find ourselves in a winter season of life.  Things are dead, dry and brittle.  The things that were once vibrant and colorful suddenly are prickly.

Let me give you an example from my own life.   When Olivia was a newborn, I found a local MOMS group in the city I was living in.  It was my lifeline!  I had no clue about being a mother, caring for a baby or how to keep from climbing the walls now that I was at home full time with this tiny stranger.

My MOMS group was my refuge, my training ground.  I met other mothers who didn’t have it all together either, but who freely shared the knowledge they did have.  Some of the strongest friendships I have came from that group of women.  Even though I live in another city I know I can call certain people from that group and say “I need prayer NOW!” and I know I’ll get it, and vice versa.  (Hi Jolanthe!)

I served on the committees for that group and couldn’t wait to get to it for every meeting.   When Lindsey came along she was toted in as well.   Then after a few years, I noticed the meetings were becoming a drudgery.  I no longer looked forward to going.  I stopped volunteering to do things and started missing a meeting here of there.  Then we moved, and although it was still within driving distance, I just didn’t go back the following fall.

The season had passed.  The group had served its purpose in my life, but it was time to prune it off and go on.  Even now, several years later I direct new mothers to that MOMS group.  I’ve been asked to come back to visit, to work, to be a part…but it’s just not happening, it’s dead.

Sometimes friendships, clubs even church activities become dry, brittle and lifeless.  The thing has served it’s purpose in your life, and its time to move on.  (Please note, if you just want to bail because Sister Suzie didn’t say hi to you at the coffee bar, you aren’t off the hook.  You just need to put on your big girl panties and realize it’s not Sister Suzie’s job to validate you.)

So my point in all of this is that you need to be wise enough to recognize when your seasons change.  Be brave enough to prune the “good things” that no longer have life in them, in order to produce the “God things” that are waiting to spring up.