Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Lesson of the Succulents

Hannah, my son's girlfriend, enjoys propagating succulents. She removes a tiny leaf from the original plant, sets it in indirect sunlight, and waits. In a few weeks, the leaf sprouts roots. She then transfers it to a growing tray filled with succulent soil and positions the tray under a grow-light. Given time, the leaf should begin to grow a plant. 

She makes it look easy, so I decided to try it. On my second try, three of the leaves sprouted roots. Those leaves sat in a growing tray for weeks. I drizzled water to keep the soil moist, but not wet, watched with expectation, and waited. 

I was just about to give up hope when I noticed a tiny leaf on one of the rootlings. Over the next few days, a new plant began to grow.

As the new plant has grown, the original leaf has withered. Before long, the old leaf will be completely gone and all that will remain is the newly propagated plant.

I'm stunned by the ease of it, but also stunned by the profundity of it.

The leaves of succulents are thick and fleshy because they store water. In times of drought, the plants can survive because they already have a provision of water safely tucked away. In an interesting way, succulents survive because of the "living water" inside them. 

Those living-water-filled leaves root easily, even in open air. In a way, they live to reproduce. 

I think that's the way we are to be as believers, as well. When we're filled with the living water only Christ can give, we, too, can reproduce easily. When we share Christ with others, we leave behind a bit of good news that, in just the right conditions of Son-light (Jesus' Spirit), can begin to sprout roots and grow a new plant. 

At the same time, as we share the good news of Jesus, mentor those who want to grow, and share our lives with those around us, we find that there is less of our old self and more of Christ. In a way, our "old life" withers so that the new life can flourish. 

It's a good picture of the Christian life. Ever-growing. Ever-reproducing. Our old sin-life withering away. 

Christ didn't save us to leave us the same. Today, let's take a look at our own "propagation". Are we reproducing? Is our old sin-life withering away? If not, let's ask for a filling of the living water only Christ can bring and spend some time in the light of God's Son. 

"He must increase, but I must decrease." John 3:30 

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Starvation Diet
Here's the link to yesterday's flashback extra:(from just before the Ferguson riots) Praying Like Your Life Depends on It
#succulents #succulentpropagation #disciple