We have a plant in the office where I work. It’s one of those plants that is supposedly indestructible. Even the most negligent gardeners shouldn’t be able to kill this thing.
Yet last week I noticed that the plant had begun to wilt dramatically. It looked like it might not survive.
I went and checked the soil, assuming I would find it bone-dry. But on the contrary, the dirt around the roots was soaked. Had we been over-watering it? What could be causing this rapid decline? Not knowing quite what else to do, I moved it out of the office, into a window sill in the hallway.
Weird thing is, the plant fully recovered by the next day. It was almost miraculous. All it needed was the direct sunlight of the hallway to transform it from a sad, wilted mess into a healthy plant again. I thought the problem was the soil, but it was actually one of light.
The story of this plant reminds me of how often I get confused about the reasons for my own wilted and downcast state. It’s easy for me to blame the soil of my life – the people, circumstances, and material conditions of my daily existence – for my darkness. But in reality the problem isn’t with the soil.
When I’m really struggling, it’s usually because I’ve lost track of where my life’s light comes from. I’ve shifted my focus away from the loving presence of God, losing myself in the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and desires for other things. The lack of light chokes the word of God within me.
The parable of the office plant is a reminder to keep a good eye on the way I live my life. Are my priorities drawing me deeper into joy, love, and peace, or am I being lured into busyness? Am I getting lost in the details of the soil, or am I daily drawing nearer to the light?