This summer, I worked in a greenhouse. My job mostly consisted of doing the odds and ends, like polishing leaves. You read right.
Who even does that? Do you ever think when little kids are asked what they want to be when they grow up they say “A leaf polisher!”
Yeah probably not. But that’s what I did for the summer. While polishing leaves, I had a lot of time to think. To think about food and how funny goats and dogs with cones on their heads are and how to creatively kill slugs. But most importantly, I got to think about God.
Crazy right? Working right smack dab in the middle of God’s creation and I’m thinking about God while polishing leaves. But of course that’s not all I did. One job I had to do every morning was “dead-heading”, which consisted of locating dead blooms on a plant and snipping them off to stimulate new growth. This was something that was necessary in order for the greenhouse to operate. Without dead-heading, the entire greenhouse would DIE. Dramatic, right? But true.
This is the process of dead-heading a plant:
- Locate part of plant that has discontinued growth (usually brown, but the plant is still attached to it)
- Chop off dead part of plant to the stem, but be gentle in case the plant goes into shock (where the plant thinks it is dying, this is a real thing)
- After a few weeks (with watering and care), the plant will in fact grow at least 4 inches taller than it originally was.
God actually dead-heads us too, and frequently. God maintains our lives just like we would maintain a greenhouse.
God does this to us in order to properly “dead-head” our lives:
- Locate the part of our lives that must be removed in order for us to grow (usually unhealthy, but we are still attached to it)
- God takes that part of our lives and chops it out (a breakup, a death in a family, moving to a new place). Generally, we go into some sort of shock, where we think this is harder than we can handle.
- After a while (with guidance from God), we will in fact grow and mature in our lives.
We have to be constantly dead-headed. Things are taken out of our lives to make room for something greater. Nothing is constant in the life of a plant, and nothing is constant in our lives.
The only constant is God, and He is very intentional. He takes things and makes them beautiful.
Parallels are kind of crazy, right?
Maybe he’ll polish our leaves along the way too.