Plants in the ground

“Plants in the ground, plants in the ground, working like a fool putting plants in the ground.”

This is a little rap ditty that our plant sharing group chants when our plant acquisitions overtake our plant installations. It’s a parody of a popular rap song introduced to the American Idol audience by “General” Larry Platt in 2010.

It’s easy to keep on getting, getting, getting new plants from all kinds of sources, without a real intended home for every one of them.

True, once in a while a gardener finds the perfect specimen for a particular location in her garden, and then must move a less desirable plant out of the way.

But in my “addiction enabling” circle of friends, we often just want to have the newest and best plant, especially when it can be found at a bargain price.

The result is often a collection of plants awaiting their forever homes, languishing for far too long in a temporary place we call a “pot ghetto.” Some never make it out of there alive!

Near the end of springtime many of us are frantically digging up our gardens to put the plants into better places to survive the rising temperatures and drying winds of summer.

“Plants in the ground,” we encourage each other. Plant acquisition is not a bad thing in and of itself, but if the pace outstrips our ability to plant and care for the new arrivals, then we run into problems.

Similarly, it’s a good thing to acquire Bible knowledge, but an even better thing to implant it into our hearts and minds and let it take root there and grow.

The shallow and constricting black nursery pots won’t let plant roots spread out and thrive, any more than our brains are meant to hold such valuable treasure as God’s word without letting it take root in our souls.

The living and active word of God is meant to find a forever home in our hearts. Bible knowledge and memorization are the “acquisition” phase of Christian growth, like my bargain shopping and plant swapping.

However, if all we do is acquire, we might be in danger of letting the precious knowledge shrivel and die of neglect if it is not put to good use.

For instance, I have a few herbs sitting on my back porch right now, waiting to be planted. They are in the two-inch plastic nursery pots that they came in. The outer roots started to curl around the pots as they seek further nourishment and water. On very hot days, the tiniest of these roots will die.

Oh, it won’t kill the plants when that happens. But it will prevent the herbs from growing much bigger, and if kept confined like this, they will be too stressed to survive the winter.

Meanwhile, the leaves will never develop enough essential oils to make them tasty enough to use as seasonings. There is not enough nourishment in a few cubic inches of dirt for that!

The constant drying of the limited soil is like the second type of heart described in the parable of the sower.

“A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it. And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture” (Luke 8:5,6 KJV).

Let’s get the Bible transplanted into our hearts and minds, and then into our actions!

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