Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bloom (11/22/12)
TITLE: Bloom Where You're Planted
By Lisa Johnson
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When I was a child, I lived in a city, but my backyard was like the country. It was actually two backyards. The front part was our play yard. . . but, oh. . . the "back forty" was a farm. We had fruit trees galore. We had a strawberry patch and a blackberry patch. We even had a vegetable garden. If you could eat it, my dad tried to grow it.
Each fruit or vegetable had it's own special way that it needed to be planted. The strawberries had to have a raised bed and lots of straw. The blackberry bushes needed to have something to climb on. Each fruit tree had to be pruned and fertilized to produce fruit the way it should. The soil had to be prepared and watered. Weeds had to be eliminated. If too close together, some plants had to be thinned.
It was hard work the entire year round. In the spring, the yard was covered in a multitude of blooms, both fragrant and beautiful. Each bloom held the promise of a harvest. Bountiful blooms meant a bounty of fruits and vegetables, at the end of the growing season. If the soil was not prepared right, or the plants inadequately watered, the blooms were not as lush or fragrant, and the fruit ended up being poor in size and quality. If, for some unforeseen reason, like a late frost, there were no blooms at all, there would be no fruit.
We are so much like those fruits and vegetables in that backyard, so many years ago. The only difference is that we can choose where we are planted.
We can plant ourselves in the soil of the world, and feed and water ourselves on sin and depravity. We will surely find ourselves blooming in the devil's garden, and the fruits of our harvest will be the cause of our own destruction.
Our other option is to plant our lives into God's garden. There we can choose to feed on The Bread of Life, drink from the Living Water, and find our roots growing deep into the Word of God. Our lives will bloom into a harvest that is pleasing in the sight of the Gardener. Our blooms will produce the much desired "Fruit of the Holy Spirit." Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control will be abundant in our lives.
It is a choice that must be made. We must choose where we are planted. . . and then. . . we must bloom.
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Galatians 5: 22
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