Week 1 Wednesday

A Well Watered Garden

Today’s scripture selection: Psalms 1-2

Key verses: Psalm 1:2-3

     I’m not much of a gardener.  I still remember how once, years ago when I was a student living away from home, I went to a florist asking for some sort of plant I could put in my room.  I wanted something that was virtually impossible to kill.  She confidently gave me something called a “living rock.”  Well – you guessed it – before long it was one very dead rock.  Why?  It was a type of cactus and, in my desire to keep it alive, I actually ended up watering it too much.  Go figure.

     But for most gardens, and for most lives, water is a good thing.  It keeps things vibrant and strong.  And, as many have pointed out, while we can survive a good while without food – take away our water – and we soon perish.  Well, the same is true for our spiritual lives.  We can’t just water them when we remember to, every few weeks or so.  We can’t just water them once and then forget about it.  Try that and you will soon find that not only is your relationship with God wilting, so are your other relationships; your vocational choices; your personal security and sense of well being.  Maybe that’s why the great prayer and hymn book of the Bible begins with a simple reminder about watering our spiritual gardens.

It’s clear enough: the one who delights in the law of the Lord; the one who meditates on it “day and night” is like “a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.”

Clear, but not always easy to do; our commitments, our worries, our desires, our “to-do” lists all crowd in relentlessly, day in and day out.  So it’s easy to forget to spend a little time in the garden, walking with God, and nourishing our relationship with Him.

So turn off the radio or TV and find a quiet place by yourself, even if it is only for a few, precious moments.  Open your Bible and do what you are doing right now.  Water the garden.  It’s the way of life.  And don’t worry – this “living rock” – can’t ever get too much nourishment.

Prayer: Loving God, I’m parched.  I need nourishment for my soul.  I need direction.  But most of all I need peace – your peace.  So I come to you now in simple expectant hope that in our time together you will give me what I need most.  I thank you God.  I love this time I have with you.  I love you.  AMEN.

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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