Friday, March 20, 2009

Judicious pruning

Lent is my favorite season. Lent falls in the Spring - a season for judicious pruning. Similarly, in our Liturgical calendar, Lent is a season of judicious pruning.

It is telling that God indicated his displeasure with the Israelites in the "Song of the Vineyard" by creating a wasteland, neither pruning nor cultivating, allowing briers and thorns to grow and withholding rain. In Lent, we should seek a closer relationship with God, allowing him to prune and cultivate our lives.

I've spent the week pruning and cultivating the flower beds in my garden. Pulling weeds. Cutting back unwieldy growth, spindly branches. I have years of experience at this and still I consider myself a tentative novice. Pruning is my least favorite part of the process. Sometimes it's easy. Branches that are clearly dead must go. But often the tough decisions involve cutting off branches that are producing.

Here is a Lantana that needs to be cut back in order to produce healthy spring growth. Oddly, there is a long spindly branch that has grown up into a non-flowering hedge. There is a beautiful cluster of flowers mysteriously blooming a few feet above the ground. I was tempted to leave it alone, if only as a reward for its tenaciousness. But it is better for the plant to cut it back to its core. So, the branch and its flowers were eliminated along with the rest.

Similarly, I feel like I'm looking within myself this year and studying aspects of my life that appear productive and seem to be bearing fruit but perhaps still want some pruning. All I can do is seek God's blessing and pray that He prunes and cultivates me to bear His fruit and ultimately be pleasing to Him.


Jeanette said...

He does indeed prune us, even when we, like your lantana feel like we are producing. there is evidence of our production, but those blooms are at the end of leggy overgrown branches that need to b cut back to be stronger... and we need to "start again". Wow, that was probably way out there, but hit me nonetheless. Thank you sweet Fran! I needed that!

Anonymous said...

The pruning analogy hits with me, too. Well said.

However, pruning plants is my favorite part of working in the yard. I don't think Hubby really believes me when I tell him pruning promotes growth.

His-if-he-were-alone-yard would be wild and overgrown. hehe. Barbara

Heidi said...

I don't tend to observe Lent. I have some friends that do. That said, I like what Lent stands for. It is my time to take stock and be grateful for what I have. And the pruning part of things? It might drive me crazy but it's necessary for growth.