What You Water Grows


I took this picture in my backyard this morning. It illustrates this thought perfectly. In the middle is our healthy orange tree, to it’s left is a healthy grapefruit tree, if you could see more you’d see another orange tree, a couple peach trees, a mandarin, and lemon tree. And everything else is dirt.

Being a Midwest boy now living in an coastal arid climate I’ve been fascinated by this simple principle: What you water grows. The rest of our backyard is dirt or dead, dried up weeds. Where I grew up this same effect would be impossible. Weekly rains would ensure that the dirt would become covered in in vegetation. But in our climate, if you don’t water an area… nothing will grow.

In your life, what you water grows

Followers of Jesus know this to be true in matters of the heart as well. Jesus said  this, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.We know that God’s written word is living water to our souls.” Practically speaking, those who spend time contemplating and meditating on Scripture grow– while those who do not, don’t grow. Later Jesus taught his followers why they needed to stay connected to the vine. [fellow believers] “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” The vine is the source of water and nutrients… stay connected to the vine and you live. Disconnect and you die.

Are you watering the right things?

In an arid climate water is a precious commodity. Here in San Diego we live under water restrictions as our fresh water isn’t natural to the area. It is all pumped in from other places! (We have a rainy season [Winter] and a dry season. [Spring, Summer, Fall]) We all have to make choices with the water that we have… what will we allow to grow and what will we allow to die? The same is true in our lives. Professionally, we know we can’t do it all… so what will we give water and see thrive and what will we not water and see die? In our families, we must chose things to water and things to dry out. In our ministries, we must chose which programs and people to water and which to allow to not grow or even willow. Individual believers chose, do I want to be connected to the vine… the source of nutrients and water… or do I want my faith to die by not connecting with other Christians?

This water thing is pretty deep. After all, the Mediterranean climate is a coastal desert as well. It all ties into the parable of the talents as well, doesn’t it? We’re all given things to manage. And part of being a good manager is deciding what to water and what to let die. You can’t do it all! Chose wisely and water the right things.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in the San Diego neighborhood of Rolando with their three children.

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