Tues., Oct. 31, 2017
Job 14:2– Like a flower, we bloom, then wither, flee like a shadow and don’t last.
My Christmas cactus forgot to look at the calendar. Today is Halloween … and it’s blooming, almost two months early. Seriously?
Actually, this Christmas cactus is my Mom’s plant. This spring, we cleaned out my Mom’s apartment when she moved permanently into a nursing home. My sister, Debbie, and I were cleaning out the last things. There was Mom’s Christmas cactus. For years, and I mean years, my Mom has had a Christmas cactus. We felt like someone should keep it. Debbie voted for me.
I brought it home and put it outside in our screened in porch. Honestly, I haven’t taken very good care of it. I watered it once a week. That was it. Until today. We had a hard frost on Saturday night. All the annuals froze except the geraniums. This afternoon, I remembered the Christmas cactus. Did it make it? As I walked towards the porch, I justified that it was in a more protected area. Maybe, just maybe, it would be fine.
What I wasn’t prepared for were the many pretty fuchsia pink blossoms spilling over the edge of the pot. Not wanting to take any chances on something happening to the plant, I quickly brought it inside.
I have another Christmas cactus. This one was given to me last year at Christmas by a lovely couple from church. It isn’t blooming. With a closer inspection, I unearthed several dead branches and fallen leaves. I walked away with a handful of dead parts. Apparently, the outside plant enjoyed its environment much more than the inside version.
Plants can be beautiful, refreshing and brighten up a space quickly. When the plant isn’t doing well, it can be a bummer. When it is not doing well, it quickly fades. Most plants do not consistently bloom. Overnight, they can go from gorgeous blooms to droopy flowers.
Our spiritual lives are much the same. One day, we can feel so very close to God: inspired by God and alive with God. If we miss some alone time with God, fail to see blessings in our lives or get caught up in the busy-ness of live, God suddenly feels like a long-lost relative rather than a close friend with whom we text or chat with daily.
Like all relationships, our relationship with God is never stagnant. Either we are moving closer to God or stepping back. There are simply going to be times when we don’t feel as close to God. This is a fact. Yet, are we doing the things we can to nurture our relationship with God? Or are we more like the abandoned cactus that barely received a drink of water once a week?
Like my Mom’s Christmas cactus, we can bloom with less attention. For most people, additional nurturing is needed. What is one thing you can do this week to water your spiritual soul? To draw yourself back towards the One who created you?
My thoughts have turned towards keeping Mom’s cactus alive and blooming. Until Christmas? Probably not so much. Rather, I will let it wish you all a Merry Halloween!
Lord God – thanks for putting inside each one of us the opportunity to be a beautiful person. Sometimes we bloom and make life around us brighter and more beautiful. Other times, we are more like a fading flower. Thank you for being patient with us. May our connection with you keep us glorious for your kingdom. Amen.
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