One of the hardest things for me to do in my yard or garden is to prune. I have a small Japanese Maple with a branch growing into my patio area. It looks ridiculous and is growing the wrong direction. It is in my way, and still I put off lopping it off. It’s the same story with my tomato plants. They have dying areas that need pruned and I will put it off until the entire plant is suffering for it. I keep wanting to give those still living parts a chance, but often it is to the detriment of the entire plant.
I like analogies, so I began to consider this idea of pruning as it applies to my own life. For example, while I am hardly a hoarder of the caliber seen on TV, I do have way too many “things” cluttering up my house. I can never seem to get every room, drawer, or closet all cleaned and neat at the same time. I keep way too many items that I should trash or give away, and as such it affects my entire demeanor and my entire house.
On a more personal note, I have some bad habits that I need to get rid of as well. Things I hang on to for dear life instead of lopping off so that I will be better off in the long run. I’m sure everyone has some of these issues as well. Things you know you need to get rid of in your life in order to be healthier or to feel better, but you just can’t seem to let go of.
As a country we do this as well. We watch our politicians trying to balance the budget in a society that is afraid to lop off the half dead limbs. Meanwhile the tree is struggling to survive. I’m sure if I took my pruning shears to Washington, neither major political party would like the results!
So my challenge to myself is to start lopping off some branches. I know it won’t be easy, and likely will even be painful, but if I want to be at my best it has to be done!
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful John 15:1-2 NIV