Recently my back covered porch was invaded by water roaches...big, long, really ugly bugs. It startled me one night when I went to turn on the porch light and open the door as our dinner company was leaving and I noticed their mad dash for cover. I don't mean a few either. Let's collectively say "gross". So in an effort to not gag every time I opened the back door after dark, I have been spraying bug spray daily around the parameter of the porch. Now....we have dead roaches all over the porch every morning. I do have a point to make...please stick with me.
Our next door neighbors have a dead tree in their front yard. It's at least 50 years old. HUGE...I'm talking honkin' big. Anyway, during the last few storms we have had, remnants of the dead tree have been scattered all over our yard, their yard and the street. Today the tree trimmers came to get it under control. For 8 hours they trimmed the dead branches. My yard was covered in tiny twigs (great opportunity to discuss a good-old-fashion-switching tale or two with my kids) and sticks. Dead things aren't so pretty. The tree is grey, black, brown...no new life is growing...and honestly it looks like the sore thumb of the neighborhood. I don't like it so much.
Dead things. Ugly, dried up, nasty things. I've been thinking about the things that should be dead in my life recently. As a Christian I am called to die daily to this selfish, fleshly being that cries out to live. I struggle with bad attitudes, ingratitude, a complaining spirit, a "woe is me" outlook, pride and so much more. But these things are suppose to be DEAD! Whether it takes spiritual bug spray or a chainsaw these attitudes gotta go....it's not healthy! It's downright UGLY!
The greenness of a life that is flourishing with growth is so much more attractive. In contrast to the dead life, where no one wants to touch or be near the dead thing, the ALIVE life in Christ is something that others want more of. I think about a botanical garden when I think of something beautifully alive. I'd do just about anything to take a pair of gardening sheers and gather a big bunch of beautiful flowers if they'd let me! I don't know if I would ever get enough! It's the same for those around us. This full, abundant life in Christ should attract others to HIM....they should want more and more of HIM because of being with us. WOW....what a huge responsibility!
More of Him. Less of Me.
Now, if you'll excuse me...it's time to find the bug spray....literally and spiritually speaking!