In the autumn many people begin to think of next spring and plant some lovely trees, shrubs, and bulbs to bring color to those post winter days. In this process are some good tips for our lives as well. What can a church or a heart of faith do to look forward and prepare for a burst of life and color in their future?
1. “Let the seed break open.” Continue to embrace the idea of being a dedicated person or a dynamic church. In the imagery of the grain of wheat that falls into the ground and dies, let the heart or the community be willing to explode with fruitfulness. The single seed in its package accomplishes nothing, but when it meets the moisture of the soil and surrenders to the destruction of its shell, it accomplishes a feat that never ceases to amaze the observer. Do not be willing to remain in the package, but be sown into the soil.
2. “Love one another.” It has been my experience that tremendous potential emerges when a church or person steps outside of their personal concerns and simply pours out love for people around them. This includes both others in the congregation, and those in the community and beyond. Yes, like all churches, there are times when we rub the fur the wrong way, but I have noted that humans have the ability to put such frictions into their proper place and move on. Please build upon that love in every way possible. It is a worthy effort.
3. "Protect the work." Gardeners spread a layer of mulch down to protect the tender plants. A lot of effort goes into getting things to grow and it is important to protect that work. Safeguard the tender shoots, nurture the growing, and see the results bloom. A church or person who throws away efforts by not protecting the work they have done, nurturing the tender spiritual plants around them, and providing a warm place of love and growth will see no bright spring.
Like so many truths of scripture, looking forward involves us minimizing the "Me" window on our life computer and reaching out to others with encouragement, investment of self, and a promise to safeguard their journey to spring.