The bushes around our house have grown unbelievably this summer. They thoroughly enjoyed the heat and humidity of July much more than I. I kept waiting for a cooler or dryer day to do the trimming and no such day seemed to exist this month. So with reluctance, I finally took my husband’s suggestion and hired someone to come do it.
The landscaper called me outside, at one point, to ask if I wanted a bush cut a particular way. He obviously put much more thought into his trimming than I ever do. He had to see the question on my face, as before I could say anything, he said ….
“At this point, they’re growing or they’re dead.”
“Well that makes it easy then. Cut it off”, I replied.
The decision suddenly became much simpler, much clearer as my vision took in the bush we were discussing. He had narrowed it down, leaving me with only two choices:
- If it is growing and producing, leave it.
- If it is not producing now, it is dead and won’t produce in the future, cut it off.
Back inside, my Bible was still open on my desk to where I had been reading earlier in the morning …
“Today I have given you the choice between life and death, blessings and curses….” (Deuteronomy 30:20, NLT)
Wait a minute – life and death. They’re growing or they’re dead. Is there a connection?
I read the entire portion again and discovered:
- God has given us His Word to guide us in life. “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach.” (Deuteronomy 30:11, NLT) He brings understanding as His desire is for us to fulfill His plan for our lives.
- We are to obey His Word. “No, the message is close at hand. It is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.” (verse 14). He has not only given us His Word, He teaches us and gives us the ability to learn how to live in His ways.
- The choice is ours. “You can make this choice by loving the Lord your God, obeying him, and committing yourself firmly to him.” (verse 20). This choice is totally ours to make.
Each day I face choices which will either bring growth to my life or death. Something takes place in my life each day. I can either grow as a person in and through Him, becoming more like Him, fulfilling His plan. Or I am not and my life is producing nothing of His purposes.
There’s a funny word stuck in there – “firmly”. We are to securely attach ourselves to Him. We are to be settled on Him, no wiggle room, not shaking. We are to be unwavering. That one word, tucked there in the middle has the utmost importance, as we are told …
“This is the key to your life.”
And the choice is ours.
Back outside, the trimming is all done. The bushes are shaped. Funny thing about it all?
I don’t miss “the dead” which is now gone. All I notice is the beauty in the life.