Monday, July 4, 2011

Room to Grow

My mother passed down many wonderful things to me.  But she did not pass down a green thumb. I wish she did.  I tried to have indoor plants, but despite my best efforts, I killed them all. (I am convinced that at least half of them were suicide.) So, I stopped trying and went a different route. My home now has a array of beautiful plants- all still very much green and very much fake.

In my mothers home is a beautiful spider plant.  It started out small, a shoot from another plant.  Over the years she has watered it, gave it sunlight, nurtured it and loved it.  It grew to a lovely medium size and began to produce shoots of its own.  For years this spider plant sat in the same spot, in between two chairs by the window in her sun room.

Then, last March, I came to visit my parents.  My mother and I sat down in the chairs in her sun room to chat. There I noticed a new spider plant.  It was twice as big as the old one, and was overflowing with shoots.  I asked her where she got it.  She explained that this was the same plant that has been sitting there for years.  When I asked how it got so big, she shrugged her shoulders and said, "I just put it in a bigger pot and gave it room to grow. It did the rest."

In many ways we are all like this beautiful plant. 

If you look at the bottom of the spider plant, you will see nearly a hundred shoots.  One plant has the power to create more.  If left alone, these shoots will continue to grow in size. But, if moved into their own pots, they have the potential to become as big as their mother plant.  

We are all offspring of our Father in Heaven.  He created us.  When we lived with Him before this life we learned and grew. But, there came a time when He knew that to reach our greatest potential, we had to be moved to our own pots. That is why we are here now.  We have been given this earthly life to continue to grow, to become our own plants, to reach our potential.

Throughout life, each of us are different sizes and at different stages in our growth.  Each of us has similar needs as the plant: to be fed, to be nurtured, to be loved.  When these needs are met, we are happy.  We are content.

But, Heavenly Father knows that contentment is not the purpose of life.  Growth is. We have a greater potential than the creatures we are now. And our loving Father knows that in order for us to continue grow, He needs to give us more room.  We need to be moved to a bigger pot.

Each time we are "repotted" we are given room to grow. For some that bigger pot might be a new addition to the family. For others, it might be the inability to add to the family.  For some, a bigger pot might take the form of a trial: a wayward child, a physical disease, a loved one gone astray. And for others the pot might be more positive: a new job, a new talent, a new move, or even just meeting a new friend.

Being "repotted" can be a scary thing. Sometimes we fight it. We long for the smaller, comfortable, familiar pot.  The one where our feet touched the bottom, we could see all around us, and we felt safe. When introduced to the new space, we might question ourselves, and God : "Why must I grow? Why must things be this hard? I can't do this. Why would God do this to me?"  So, we continue to live as we did in our smaller pot.  We do not stretch.  We do not reach. Living this way seems safe, but it isn't.  It creates fear, frustration, regret, and even resentment. We curl up in a ball.  We do not grow.  

But, when faced with new experiences, with faith and courage we thrive like my mom's beautiful plant.  We can stretch ourselves to fill the space. We can find strength we did not know we had.  We may find talents that had been hidden.  We will develop faith stronger than we once had.  We will learn, grow, and even surprise ourselves.  If not for the new pot, we would have stayed the same ol' us, content and still.  But, when given the room and the opportunity, we can become more than who we were. We can become like Him.

So, when things get tough, when new challenges come, when new opportunities are presented, know that all is not lost, it is only a new pot.  Trust the Master Gardner who repotted you. Trust yourself and your abilities as He does. Have faith and courage. Reach and stretch and grow. Fill your new pot. And reach your potential.  

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