You Are What You Are

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I'm no Master Gardener, but I do love spending time in my yard. A lot of hours are invested in growing things, killing things, and trying to resurrect things. We have a pretty good sized lawn as far as residential lots are concerned, so I've got plenty of opportunities to do all of that. Virtually every time I step into my yard, I see some sort of parallel to my own existence; some analogy of deeper things. Here are a few of the more obvious ones. (I'm thinking that you can make the proper application to your own life.)

  1. Each plant in my yard thrives or withers according to its environment. Impatiens need shade. Zinnias need sun. Some plants need cool, moist dirt. Others can withstand a 100 degree drought. Here's the key: the soil and immediate surroundings of each plant not only affect, but determine its personality, its growth and whether or not it will bloom properly.
  2. Speaking of which, each plant in my yard produces what only it can produce. The plum trees aren't going to give me apples and the amaryllis won't give me hundreds of tiny blooms; just one or two big, showy ones. It's what's inside each plant that spills out.

  3. The roots of every plant will go wherever they can find air and water. This is especially noticeable with trees. If they've got loose and well-drained soil, they're going to develop a deep root system. If the soil is dry with a lot of clay in it, the roots will be more shallow. The depth and overall health of the root system affect the tree's growth and its ability to withstand less than perfect weather. And here's what I know for sure: a tree's roots will grow into something, and that something has a vital impact on the tree's well-being.

  4. I have a tree that actually won't let go of its dead leaves in the autumn. It looks kind of funny with all its brown and faded foliage just sort of dangling there. Only in the spring, when things began to “green up,” do the leaves drop off. My takeaway: Sometimes it takes new life, a fresh surge of nutrients and minerals to make the dead stuff fall away.

  5. Every now and then I go out and “dead head” my zinnia bed. (Nice rhyme, huh?) That's where I clip off all the blooms that have had their day and now are brown and dry and drooping. They were once beautiful, but they're now past their season.  What I've learned about this: clipping away the dead stuff actually allows the plant to grow healthier and thicker; to add even more blooms; and to not waste nutrients on a portion that's dead and gone.

Because of your surroundings, your environment, and where you allow your roots to grow, you are what you are.

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Posted in: Leadership, Spiritual Development

Marty Parks

Marty Parks

Marty Parks is a composer, arranger, orchestrator and producer with over 900 songs and arrangements in print. His work is represented by major choral print publishers around the country. He is a frequent conference leader and workshop speaker whose first devotional book, Quiet Moments for Worship Leaders, came out of his own experience in reflecting on the word of God, and out of his passion to see the same developed in others. His work, as well as current projects, activities and appearances, can be found at

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