Don’t worry, friends. This is not a foray into the world of the “Walking Dead.” As much as my husband tells me the character development in this show is incredible, I just cannot get past the rotting flesh, zombie apocalypse stuff. Sorry, it’s just creepy.
What I do want to talk about is a recent revelation I had while tending to my indoor plants. For the record, I’m no horticulturalist. I’m just a girl trying her best to keep her plants alive. For the longest time—back in my rookie gardening days— if I saw a leaf or branch starting to turn yellow and die I would just leave it alone. I figured it was harmless, right?
What I discovered was that even though the branch may be dying or is already dead, the plant will still continue to send nutrients to that branch as long as it remains attached to the plant. So not only is it needlessly feeding something that can no longer benefit from the nutrients, it is also simultaneously robbing the healthy parts of the plant from the nutrients it needs to grow.
The dead branches are literally sucking the life out of the plant. If ever there was a zombie apocalypse for plants, it’s this—as well as a botanical truth that was about to rock my world.
Here I was, blissfully watering and pruning the dead leaves off one of my plants, when a voice in my head silenced every other thought with one simple question:
“Sarah, what dead things in your life are you still feeding?”
Holy mulch, Batman. The Master Gardener had just called me out.
“What in your life,” He continued, “are you pouring your time, energy, and effort into that is not only a dead end, but is also taking away from the areas of your life that should be growing?”
You see friend, I can often get stuck and become stagnant from prioritizing non-essentials over essentials. Instead of nurturing areas of my life that truly matter and could benefit from my time and attention, I end up spending that time in other areas that ultimately end up draining me.
I watch television shows and then complain that I don’t have time to write. I proclaim that I want to be healthier and then choose to eat ice cream instead of going for a walk. I miss opportunities to connect with friends and family because I’m too distracted by dirty toilets and a pile of laundry.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with a clean house and clean clothes. Dessert is a wonderful treat. Movies and shows are wonderfully entertaining.
But if I’m stuck and not growing…if what should be feeding my emotional, physical and spiritual self is instead going toward something that is stealing from it, then it needs to be pruned.
Jesus himself used this analogy when speaking to his disciples about their relationship with him. “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more” (John 15:1-2).
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to waste my time being unfruitful. It’s time to cut off the dead things and feed the parts of me that are alive and growing. It’s time to sow more into my purpose and calling and not into the excuses that keep me bogged down, unmotivated, and distracted.
It’s time to take down some metaphorical zombies and bury them for good. Are you in?