Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)
- TITLE: More Than Sunshine
By Kristi Wood
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“Janice, Joyce! Stop bickering! If I have to remind you again you’ll both miss out on ice cream tonight at the Burger Barn!” She really tried to use positive reinforcement but lately it seemed that the girls, barely a year apart in age, hardly ever gave her the opportunity.
Braden, the toddler started singing “Jesus Loves Me” at the top of his lungs just as Eileen’s cell phone started ringing. She tried to hush the baby and snap her seatbelt shut while she juggled the phone by her ear and backed out of the driveway.
“Hello? Oh, hi Susan…no, we’re on our way out, sorry. Maybe Brenda could help you out. I’d be happy to help pay for some sugar or flour; I’m just too busy to bake any cookies this week.”
Eileen could hardly believe Susan was still nagging her to bake cookies for the community bake sale she was trying to organize. Actually, Eileen could hardly believe Susan was the one organizing the event. Susan was a friend, yes, but she had an abrasive way about her that made it difficult for people to want to cooperate. Setting personality differences aside, Susan knew how busy Eileen was right now with hockey playoffs coming up, the girls’ dance recital next week plus her PTA duties and the women’s Bible study at their church.
Susan hung up the phone, frustrated. Everyone she was calling wanted to throw money at her, but nobody wanted to spend any time on baking the cookies. She dialed the next number on her list which happened to be Brenda’s and she knew just how to pull her strings. She would pull off this bake sale yet.
“Hello, Brenda? It’s me, Susan. I’ve got ingredients like crazy but no cookies. Come on, you’ll help me out here, won’t you? Those cats of yours can live without you for a couple of hours. I’ll pick you up this evening and we can do the baking in the church’s kitchen. It’s for charity so I’m sure they won’t mind and that way we don’t have to mess up our own kitchens.”
Susan hung up quickly so Brenda wouldn’t actually have a chance to respond just in case she would try to say ‘no’ although, nobody could remember Brenda saying that word before.
Brenda hung up the phone. She felt like crying. She had been roped into bailing somebody out of their own problems yet again. She wasn’t even that good at baking.
Brenda knew she would have to fend off Susan’s questions all evening about why she didn’t want to attend the Bible study with the other women in the church. How could she tell her friend that she didn’t want to come because she knew that she’d be pushed into doing even more ‘service projects’?
Besides, it’s not like she needed to be around all those ladies to learn about the Bible. She always told herself that she could do that alone at home…even though she never did.
Salvation is like sunshine to the garden of our souls. It shines its light and offers to transform us. But we can crowd our lives with so many activities that we scarcely have time to grow in our walk with the Lord. We put it off as something we’ll do later, when this school year is over or when the kids move out.
Sometimes we are more like prickly cactus. Our lives are free of weeds but parched and thirsty for Living Water. Are we spending time drinking in the presence of our Savior? He has promised to be present with us when we spend time together in prayer and in praise.
But a garden needs more than weeding and water; it needs fertilizer as well. Without feeding our souls regularly from the nourishing Word our faith can become anemic. It takes more than sunshine to make a garden grow.
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