Friday, May 28, 2010
Before you come into my place to join me for tea and cookies at my new table, you will go through my little gate, past my new name plate. As one of my Japanese missionary blogging friends said recently, in the previous places I have lived I have just written my name on a piece of paper and stuck it up on the door. In my last place, the post man actually told me to post my name. (I didn't think it was super necessary since the post office seems to know where all the foreigners live, anyway!) But, I feel more official, now, with my nice name plate in both Roman and Japanese lettering!
I have some nice veranda space to have plants growing. I have been to my local home center several times looking at the plants. I keep asking questions like, "how long does this plant bloom?" or "will it bloom again next year?" because I was looking for an easy way to have beautiful plants. I wanted to just buy the plants, set them out on the veranda and, wala (I have no idea how to spell that, but that is the way it would be spelled in Japanese:), have lovely flowers blooming all the time.
I am learning that gardening doesn't work that way. If I want to have flowers and tomatoes, I have to take time to take care of them. I have to monitor their progress, I have to make sure they are watered, getting enough sunlight, etc. There is no magic wand to wave and everything is just done.
This is a bit like my relationship with God. I want to just show up to church and everything is going to be just fine. I go, I listen, or even lead, then I go home. And, everything is great. But, relationships, like growing plants, take work. To get to know God, I need to spend time with Him, to talk to Him, to listen to Him.
But, I don't want to. I have other things to do. People to see, places to go. So, I run on my merry way, thinking all is okay. Somewhere along that path, though, I begin to feel the emptiness. Something is missing. My relationship is a mile long, but only a centimeter deep.
I desire to be the garden at the end of Isaiah, "a well-watered garden" (58:11) and not the one from the beginning, "a garden without water." (1:30) In order to do this, though, I need to drink the Living Water, spend time with my Saviour, build a relationship that goes deep.