I look outside to view what I expect to be a beautiful sunset. The wide open space made available by a large field along the river banks affords me an expanded view of the heavens. I love the deep red splashes on a bed of blue gray. Sometimes yellow appears like the last spark of sunshine closing out the day. Puffs of cloud disperse like smokey cotton being pulled along toward some secret destination. The grandeur brings serenity to my world until I notice something out of place.To my dismay someone has discarded a bunch of celery in the back yard. Apparently I purchased too much at the grocery and someone has thrown out what they know will only cause disaster later in our refrigerator.
Our chickens are allowed to roam about the place as they please and normally will consume anything edible laying around. My mother has stopped trying to nourish her roses with banana peels because – you guessed it – those feathered critters never allow the vitamins to get to their intended recipient. In my warped but comical mind I can literally hear the birds speaking in a very strong southern brogue,”Someone, once again, has left a lovely banana peel under that prickly fragrant bush.” They have no conception of the needs of Mom’s beloved flowers.
I can thankfully say we try not to make a habit of throwing food about our lawn just to see if the chickens will keep the garbage in tow. But for whatever reason, someone has launched this tidbit right under my kitchen window. If I were to guess, I would say a young male someone didn’t want to walk all the way to the chicken coop. Now, every time I wash dishes I am confronted by the trashy sight. I thought surely the chickens would come to my lawn cleaning rescue. This may have been the thinking of the chore evader. But, for whatever reason, and to my dismay this has not been the case. Maybe those clucking egg producers dislike celery as much as I do. It has been a while now and they have not touched the stuff nor has any scavenger in this rural area. Maybe celery isn’t as popular as my husband thinks.
Instead of fuming about the entire incident, I decided not to sweat the small stuff and let the matter lay, literally. As the celery began to decompose – which took much longer than it should have for food that was thrown away – the stalks began to sprout. Now my gardening interest had been peaked; therefore the chore slacker never did get a reprimand. It was no longer an irritating bother in the middle of my otherwise tranquil scene. But, a science experiment for which I had a front row view.
The stalk slowly died and brought forth new life. Much the same way, we must die to allow Christ to live in us. As long as we flourish, He will never grow. Until we allow Jesus total control and access to our life, He will continue to lay dormant. Jesus will be unable to flourish and transform us into a new person, a person heartier and more vibrant than its predecessor.
The celery we discarded brought forth three vibrant plants. That is how Jesus works. We surrender all and He forms new life – not only in us – but those around us as well. That’s how powerful a life lived for Jesus can be. It affects everyone we come in contact with. We either draw them toward the Savior or away from Him. Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.” We will never be able to do that if we aren’t filled with the attitude we need. A humble self denying attitude that says, “I am willing to die so Christ can live.” In doing so, we will fuel others with the support they need to live a life surrendered to Him. And celery doesn’t even have to be part of the plan. “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no loner I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20