Do you have a garden?  A lot of my friends are growing herbs and vegetables in garden boxes they’ve built in their backyards.  Most of my friends have beautiful flowerbeds in the front and back of their houses.  My grandmother, I called her Nanny, had a green thumb like no other.  She would have a beautiful display of color throughout her front and backyard every year.  She would rival most covers of Southern Living during the spring and summer.  She just had a green thumb like no other.
Nanny passed on her love for creative baking and her love for shopping, especially for shoes, but for some reason she failed to impart the gift of the green thumb.  In the past, if it didn’t grow in concrete I couldn’t grow it.  Whether inside or out, I have never had a lot of luck with plants.  I start off with great plans, full of excitement and with a goal of success.  I purchase all the supplies necessary for success: fertilizer, proper soil, tools, and healthy looking flowers.  I gather everything and head into the great outdoors for a day of planting.  I have a spring in my step, declaring this year will be different.  I plant everything and it looks stunning.  The first couple of mornings I am up with the birds and I’m watering everything, picking the deadheads off of the flowers.  I look like a successful gardener.  And then it happens…..  It is totally unintentional.  It just happens. I fail to water the plants a few days.  Then I get distracted by other things that need to be done that at the time seem so important.  Before I know it, I’m pulling dead flowers out of the ground or pot, wondering how it happened again.
Do my gardening habits sound similar to your quiet time habits?  You come back from a retreat or an incredible Christian concert and you’re fired up and ready to go.  You head to the Christian bookstore and buy the latest devotional everyone is talking about.  You even set up a place in your house for your time with the Lord.  Out of the gate you’re on fire, up early every morning.  After all, who needs sleep?  But then you have a stressful day at work and need the extra sleep to deal with it or you have a late night out with friends.  Maybe you’re on vacation and decide you’re going to take a vacation from everything you do at home.  It’s a good thing Jesus doesn’t take a vacation from us.
In Matthew 13:1-23 Jesus tells the familiar parable of the sower and the seed.  Take a moment today and read it for yourself.  Ask Jesus to show you what type of soil you are presently.  If you’re not where you want to be, ask Him to show you how to cultivate a different type of soil.  He’s not going to pound you because you’re not where you and He want you to be.  He will embrace your desire to grow and guide and direct you to reach the goal of being good soil, but you have to ask [Proverbs 3:5-6].  While all of us aren’t cut out to be gardeners in the natural, there’s no reason we can’t all have good soil where we can produce a banner crop.
For the record, I’ve planted a beautiful flower garden this year.  The plants have been out there thriving for over a month now.  I’ve turned over a new leaf.  I may have acquired some of Nanny’s green thumb yet!