Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flows the springs of life
It has been a long winter for me. I really didn’t mind the cold nights or the long sleeves, but there’s just something about brown grass and overcast skies that I can’t get used to. I grew up in Florida and if you ask me, grass is meant to be green, leaves belong on trees (not under them), and the blue sky needs to be seen at least five days a week. The funny thing is, when I think back a couple of months, I can’t exactly recall when all of this began to transpire. I remember looking up at the clouds one day and thinking to myself, “Where did these come from?” It was then that I realized the grass was a depressing brown. “Wasn’t it green just yesterday?” No… the truth is it hasn’t been green for days, weeks, or even months.
It’s curious as to how these things happen. To be honest, as much as I hated it, I may have never noticed the bare branches if the trees hadn’t recently started blossoming. And sure, I knew the grass wasn’t the same color it used to be… but the stark difference wasn’t apparent until the vivid greens began to reclaim ground just this week.
Can’t the same thing be said for our spiritual walk? One moment our relationship with God appears to be vivid and alive. There’s a bounce in our step and the people around us can sense it. They may not know that we are reading our Bible on a daily basis and spending quality time in prayer with the Lord. They do know, however, that we’ve got something they want… they can see our peace and contentment. Suddenly, though, life doesn’t seem as vibrant. People aggravate us, and honestly, we get on their nerves too. A close examination of our lives would reveal a lack of time spent in the Word and prayer. How did this happen? Was it really as sudden as we thought? If so, why can’t we remember when this dulling process began?
Let me suggest that the problem is with our self-examination. If I think hard enough, there are some specific warning signs that point to the beginning of winter. The nights got colder for instance, and the sun began to shine fewer hours each day. Rain turned to ice, and ice to snow. In hindsight, I guess it should have been apparent that winter was on the way. Most likely, I could have noticed small changes in the grass even then… if I had only paid more attention to my surroundings. In the same manner, we need to remember that spiritual dullness and a cold heart do not happen overnight. There are warning signs that present themselves to us each and every day. This winter was my first out of the state of Florida. Next winter I am going to make an effort to look for those early warning signs. That way I will know winter is quickly approaching. I find though, the only difference between winter and the potential to fall cold in my faith, is that winter can’t be turned around… my spiritual life, however, can. It is dependant on self-examination and an immediate response. Are there any warning signs in your life? What steps could you take today to reverse your lifestyle before it’s dead winter?
I challenge you to compare your life to the Bible’s standard for living on a daily basis. In doing this you will be able to keep your shade of grass much closer to that of our Lord’s!