Beautiful roses & smelly mulch (lessons from the garden) - part 2
So, we looked in part 1 at roses and the need for pruning or ‘cutting off’ in our lives – what rhythms have you put in to help with that? What choices are you going to make? The other lesson we’ve learned from the garden is the beauty and effectiveness of mulch (although it is kinda smelly!).
Mulch is a covering that you add to flower beds to help with feeding and keep weeds at bay. It works because it has nutrients in it and also creates a barrier to those ugly weeds (technical language) you don’t want to mess up your flower bed.
So, what’s the life lesson from the garden? Well, just like we need spiritual practices (we called them ‘rhythms of grace’) that help us with the cutting off process. We also need practices that add to our life goodness and a covering from that which is nasty. Like mulch they can help keep those harmful ‘weeds’ that will quickly spread to destroy everything good we’ve worked hard, in partnership with the Holy Spirit, to cultivate.
So, you can be as creative as you like with this stuff but here are a few tried and tested practices from across the ages of those calling themselves ‘Jesus Followers’:
1. Bible – reading, thinking (meditating) on, memorising scripture is some of the most potent mulch there is out there. Be as creative as you need to be but find a way to get it into your life.
2. Prayer – this is conversation with God, two ways and it can be all of the following - fun, open, reverent, honest, intense, relaxed, involve asking for (petitioning) and receiving from God.
3. Worship – this can be super creative, involve painting, singing, dancing, walking, writing, times of quiet – the purpose is to express thanksgiving and honour to God.
4. Celebration – this is my favourite and one we often forget. It’s good to do as part of your Sabbath rhythm but not excluded to then. It’s doing something you enjoy (can be with others) where you are consciously present with God and it is an act of joy and worship. Could be preparing and enjoying a fancy meal, going for a walk or run, playing a game with the family, enjoying a nice coffee (these are mine – can you tell?). Fill in the blank – the key is they bring enjoyment into your life and they are healthy for your soul. 5. Community – this is time spent in authentic relationship with others – and can be a source of great fun, laughter, depth and grace. You’ll have to be super intentional, though and push past the conflict in relationships to make the most of this one.
Okay, so there are some to get you started. If you have any of your own let us know. Why not take some time this week to get some ‘mulch’ into your life? To finish the metaphor, it definitely won’t be smelly for you – at least not in a bad way.
Catch up on the rest of our Holy Spirit Series here