Since we’ve lived in Florida, I’ve learned that keeping flowers and plants alive is a challenge. More like impossible!
When we first moved down here, we had at least 3 outside plants (not at the same time) that died within weeks. I’m not sure if we over watered them or didn’t water them enough. Maybe they had too much sun or perhaps not enough. Seriously, no clue. All I know is that I finally gave up and didn’t want to deal with them anymore. No matter what I did, they made me feel like a failure!
One day when I was grocery shopping at Publix, I found this inside plant that I decided to buy. The best part – you only need to water it 2 times a week. One year later, it’s still living and is growing like it should. What a good feeling it is to know you’re doing something right!
The bad thing about it is this: because the plant doesn’t need much attention, I tend to forget about watering it. I’m embarrassed to say that I sit by it almost every day, and the thought doesn’t even cross my mind that it’s probably due for a drink.
You may think I’m crazy, but I think people are like plants. Some need a lot of attention in order to survive and grow – and some are pretty self-sufficient and only require a little attention.
Here’s the deal – those that need constant attention can drain you to the point where you want to give up. That daily ritual of trying to figure out what they need from you makes you feel like what you’ve said or done before wasn’t good enough. Then there’s the people who are so independent that they are sometimes overlooked or neglected because everyone thinks they are OK. Know what I mean?
Isn’t it amazing how different we all are?
Sometimes you find yourself wondering if your neighbor, your friend, that acquaintance or church member (that drives you crazy)…. is worth the effort. One thing I know is that people are complicated. All of us. Relationships take work, but they’re worth it. Every bit of it.
In the study helps section of 3 John, it talks about people and how we treat them. So worth sharing here: “But how we treat others reflects our true values–what is really important to us. Do we see people as objects or inconveniences, or as unique creations of a loving God?”
It might not be the end of the world if you lose a plant (or 2, or even 3), but your life certainly suffers greatly when you lose someone you love – or someone you will learn to love- in time.
I read something that Bob Goff said and I think it also fits perfectly…
“God isn’t wowed when we go across an ocean; He’s dazzled when we go across the street. Keep loving your neighbors. They’re everywhere.” ~ Bob Goff
And better yet…
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” ~Mark 12:31
L o v e.