If you haven’t noticed the landscaping changes lately, then apparently you get to church with your eyes closed. Which, admittedly is impressive, but dangerous.
Our new deacon of Holy Grounds (aka. Landscaping), Jesse Neisler and his team are going a great job! These last couple weeks there have been several changes—both large and small—taking place around 4545 N. Meridian. As you notice those changes, here are four lessons to consider:
- It takes a team. I’ve been at Northside 19 years. In that time, I’ve seen a lot of change in our landscaping. Folks like Karl Berg, Bill Cox, Russie Dennis, Raymond Keifer, Lucretia Smith, the GUM club, Jim Weathers, Al West and many others have contributed to planting, pruning, weeding, mulching and maintaining bushes, trees, shrubberies, and flowers. No one person has ever done it solo. It is the same with the kingdom of God. Some plant, some water, but God makes it all grow!
- Someone else planted. I didn’t know that tulips and daffodils had been planted. It happened when I wasn’t here. But, as the weather gradually warmed, the green poked up through the dirt in the flower bed. Little-by-little, day-by-day, they continued to grow, bud and bloom. Before any growth could happen today, someone was getting their hands dirty yesterday. We are here at Northside today because long ago, when we weren’t here, someone else was planting for the future. In the same way, may we be planters today.
- Growth requires removing overgrowth. Jesse and his team have a full plan. But before any new growth could occur, the overgrowth had to be removed. Some time ago, a group of men gathered on a Saturday with tools and work gloves and began the process of cutting back and removing overgrowth around the building. It took several hours and several trailers to remove it all. What a difference it made! All that overgrowth happened gradually. The same is true in your heart. Your heart will gradually, but surely, get entangled, ensnared, overgrown, and possibly even overcome. To grow spiritually, we must diligently remove the overgrowth of our lives: The people, entertainment, habits, and entangling vines of sin that creep in and overtake the heart. You don’t realize how overgrown it is until you clear it out.
- There is a season for everything. To loosely quote Solomon, “There is a time for planting and a time to uproot. A time for pruning and a time for watering. A time for maintaining and a time for overhaul.” This calls for seasonal wisdom. “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise…” You don’t plant bulbs in the middle of a January snowstorm. And don’t uproot everything right as spring begins. The same is true in our journey with Christ. Everything goes in cycles. For better or worse, wherever you are, you will not be there forever. So, be wise in what you do and when you do it.