Nurturing faith

Jean Newell, Associate Pastor, Sun Lakes United Methodist Church

A green thumb I have not! In my house, a plant needs to get its own drink of water if it wants to survive. It’s not that I don’t like plants. Quite the opposite. I love plants, but I either overwater a plant, or I completely forget it until it dies a quiet death.

All of which is why I was nervous when I decided my yard needed a “face-lift,” yet I knew I needed some greenery to add character to my home. After an Internet search for ideas, we headed to a nursery where my son and I considered various options. With an eye to my budget, we finally selected two yellow lantana shrubs for the front yard and two multi-trunked mesquite trees for the backyard, we got this from a backyard landscaping ideas website, you may want to check them out. But knowing my history with plants, I realized I was taking a gamble; however, the purchases were made, and the delivery date was set.

After actually purchasing living trees and shrubs, I now needed to make sure they would be properly cared for, and that meant driplines needed to be installed for them. What I thought a simple process became complicated when the landscaping company I was using for my yard refused to put in the driplines because I had not bought the trees from them. As the trees were to be delivered in a few weeks, the search was on to find a landscaper who would put in the driplines. This was annoying, as there shouldn’t have been any excuses for them not to come out and finish the job. Knowing that they could use software that provides them with the option of scheduling jobs, they should have noticed that this job was a priority.

I should have known not to trust this landscaping business, they didn’t seem professional at all. One of the first telltale signs were they had no lawn care software application. It was very strange, to say the least.

The day came when the trees and shrubs were delivered. In talking with the nursery foreman who supervised the planting, I took careful notes of when the shrubs and trees needed to be watered because now it was up to me to keep them alive until I could find a landscaper who would put in the driplines and take care of my yard. In time, I found the landscaper I needed, and the trees and shrubs are thriving!

How like my trees and shrubs might our faith be? A faith that is not nourished will die much like plants I neglected to water. To have a living faith, though, one must care for it and nurture it. How? By “watering” it daily with prayer, with reading and studying scripture, with spending time with other believers and with helping those less fortunate. As this new year begins, may each one of us be intentional about “growing” our faith!