I haven’t had a whole lot of time to spend in my yard. I really want to. My neighbor and I struck what turned out to be a good deal for both of us and he cleared all of the “dead” stuff out and now I want to plant and work and see what happens. There just hasn’t been time. But the roses seem to know what to do anyway. Drowning in deadness for so long, they seemed to breathe a longed-for breath once it had been cleared away. I did get out there one day and pruned them, deadheading, removing all of the old blossoms and dried up leaves that were no more. Again, they seemed relieved, almost free. And then I waited. First the bush with the medium pink roses began to bloom. It is now full of about eight roses. After that, the dark pink one began to fill itself with color. Then the two yellow-flowered bushes followed by the white ones. My favorite bush always blooms last. (Isn’t that typical? Does it bloom last because it’s my favorite or is it my favorite because it blooms last?) Right now it has about eight or ten buds on it that are trying desperately to burst forth with the most incredible strata of yellow, coral, and red colors on every flower. And so I wait a little longer. I thought yesterday would be the day but last night there were still tightly-closed but expectant buds. All I can do is wait now. There is nothing that I can do to hurry the process along.
You know, we comfortably think of God as omnipotent, all-powerful, assuming that if we can’t or won’t get it done, God will somehow be able to swoop in and clean up our mess, somehow force our blooms out of hiding. I don’t know. At the risk of questioning the Almighty’s power, is that really the way it works? Is God really omnipotent? I don’t see it. Because you see, God, in infinite wisdom and omniscience, gave away a piece of the Godself and, in turn, denied God’s own omnipotence. God chose to give away the power to choose. It’s called free will. And so God lovingly and patiently waits.
But what God does is give us a season for pruning. It’s called Lent. It is the season when God with the profound skill of a master gardener shows us how to prune and deadhead our lives, clearing away all the dried up growth and giving us room to breath and grow. And God waits for us to choose life, waits for us to choose to bloom into the most magnificent creation, waits for us to choose to walk toward God and become what God intended us to be. And still God waits until even the last bloom springs forth. There is nothing that God can do to hurry the process along except to wait with us everyday and try to pluck the deadness that we hold so tightly from our grip. God gave omnipotence away so that we could choose life. We cannot do it without God but God will not do it without us. So ponder anew what the Almighty can do!
So, in this Lenten season, this time for pruning, choose Life. God is waiting.
Grace and Peace,