It was a sweet little cape mallow that I grew from a simple cutting in the greenhouse. I nurtured it, cared for it, watered it then planted it out in the garden and watched this new little life form sprout new growth as it stretched up straight and tall. I wanted to grow it as a “standard” maintaining its lolly-pop-like clump of foliage and pretty pink flowers atop a single, clean trunk. The look is more formal; its intent and purpose undeniable. However, without the constant pruning and upkeep, if left unattended, my little tree would have taken on a free-flowing shape growing only as the wind directed.
It takes a lot of work to be a “standard;” one who holds firm in her beliefs and understanding with a will that defies the shifting winds. Like my little mallow, it takes good, strong roots to hold the stalk in place. It takes clear understanding of who you are and Who you’re “growing” for.
To simply plant out my cutting in the garden only to be left to survive on its own would have yielded completely different results, becoming a thick ball of a shrub.
Instead, my constant attention to its growth provided the perfect home for a mama finch to build her nest and hatch a family of little finch babies….one of many unexpected blessings.
“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”
(1 Cor. 16:13) NIV
Help the reader of these words grow as a standard for you. May we each keep our eyes and our purpose solely on you. Help us to not become distracted or enticed with things of life that are not of you. Keep us focused on your Word and seeking to be a blessing to others.
In Jesus’ name. Amen