Looking out my front door yesterday morning, I was amazed at the long line of bundled tree clippings that were all prepared for the Monday yard-waste pickup. This huge pile of sticks, branches, and leaves represented the fruit of much labor, by my son David, his wife Beth, and yours truly. You see, their trip to see us over the holiday weekend was not only to visit on the 4th – there was a purposeful mission in mind, as my son has faithfully helped me for years in the area of tree trimming…(there is just something wonderful about having a strong, youthful son to help in this task!).
This pile of excess yard and tree growth, as beautiful, green and healthy as it was just days ago, was now awaiting pickup. Functionally, every last bundle was…trash.
Seeing this freshly reminds me that, if I am not careful and diligent, many of my activities, my efforts, and even my words could easily end up with a similar fate. I could be spending a lot of my life seeking things that will one day end up being judged as a “dead work”. And the end for such works – they will be burned in a great fire.
Talk about a healthy reminder – believers are called to be watchful over our lives, and intentional in the way that we live. In many ways, our hearts are like my back yard. There are things all around my yard that grow. Some wanted, some unwanted, and as funny as it seems, those things that are not wanted (like weeds) grow the fastest. If I care about my yard, and if I am not lazy, then I will watch over it. I will keep it from becoming overgrown with weeds. I won’t let the low-hanging branches from nearby trees grow onto my roof. I will have to work. I have to trim, I have to prune. I have to be watchful.
This is our lot in life. Now, you don’t have to be a homeowner to face this task. We ALL have to be watchful.
1st Cor. 3:14-15 says, “If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.”
May our efforts, our time, and our energies be devoted to the One who is our Foundation, our Cornerstone. Those are the works that will survive the flame. And there will be a heavenly reward for that kind of work.
For now, I am glad that all that tree trimming is over! Let’s see, where is that bottle of ibuprofen? My muscles are aching!!!
Till next time.
~ Mike Gilland
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