Friday, July 16, 2010

Deeper Roots

Tuesday night Russ and I sat out on the screened in porch drinking our fresh peach shakes.  We were lured out by the promise of an evening thundershower, but we were disappointed.  Instead of a nice storm there was only lightning and thunder in the distance.

The storm caught Russ later as he was taking a visiting friend home, and then intensified as we got ready for bed.  We lay in bed watching the flashes of lightening, startling as the power blinked off and the smoke alarm chirped, and listening with happiness to the pouring rain.

The next morning I was surprised at the sight that greeted me.  I’d been so happy that my garden was getting watered that I’d never considered that there might be a down side.

Instead of looking like this,

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the corn (which wasn’t doing too hot anyway), some of the sunflowers, and the peppers were all laying down on the ground.

When I walked over to survey the damage I could see what had happened to the sunflowers.

When I decided that I was ready to have a garden again, I was overwhelmed by the thought of trying to get the existing soil plant-able.  We decided instead to make a raised garden, and just bring in new dirt to go right on top of the existing lawn—to not even try to mix them together.  The first idea we had for containing the new soil was to use cinderblocks.  Russ was intrigued with the idea of planting things in the cinderblocks themselves.  We filled some of the holes with dirt, then on one of the sides we planted extra petunias and on the other we planted sunflowers.

The sunflowers have done great.  Great, that is, until the storms came.  At that point, I could see a drawback to our raised garden.  The sunflower roots were obviously shallow, bound on the sides by the concrete form of the cinderblock structure, and on the bottom by the hard clay of the original yard.  When the storms came and the rains pounded, the top-heavy plants didn’t have the strong root system to hold itself up, and they fell right over.

As I walked around the yard collecting sticks to prop the plants up, I reflected on the Savior’s teachings about roots. 

Matt 13:6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.  

Matt 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

We are often encouraged to be deeply rooted in the gospel, and seeing the effects of this shallow root system was sobering.  It made me think about the importance of cultivating a better root system in my own life, and of trying to prepare “good ground” in my children’s hearts so that they too will be able be able to develop good root systems.

As I picked up sticks the words of the scriptures became more meaningful to me and I resolved to work harder to deepen my roots against impending storms.  When I started propping the plants back up I thought about the importance of making that when we need support, our supports are strong enough and will help us lean in the correct direction.

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What a blessing it is that a loving Heavenly Father has set the world up in such a way that even the simplest things turn us back to Him and back to our Savior. 

“…all things have their likeness, and all things are created and made to bear record of me, both things which are temporal, and things which are spiritual; things which are in the heavens above, and things which are on the earth, and things which are in the earth, and things which are under the earth, both above and beneath: all things bear record of me”  Moses 663

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  1. Good thoughts! And, most of the time, with some help and support those plants can come back and bring forth good fruit...just like us if we fall! :)

  2. Another great analogy, Cindy! I thought of you and your analogies this week as we were camping. Here's the gospel analogy I experienced:

    The first day I was vigilant with the bug spray and only had one or two bites, so it wasn't that bad. Then I got lax about preventing the bites thinking maybe the insects weren't that bad. Now I'm covered with bites, and the cumulative effect of all those bites is misery.

    The prophets counsel that spiritual bug spray be applied consistently. Satan persuades us that the world's influence is 'not that bad'. After we've been influenced in multiple little ways by the world, we feel how truly right the prophets were. =)

  3. Wow Megan--that is a powerful analogy, and a painful one as well. I love the comparison of being influenced in multiple ways by the world...