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A Time to Plant

There are things you do in your free time, and then there are things you free your time to do. I believe that planting is a hobby people "do" with the hope that it works rather than expecting it to succeed. This opinion may be skewed as it's based on observing a person's reaction to witnessing their planted seed growing. It's as if seeing what they've planted actually flourishing—is a shock.

As for me, when I think of planting, I think of an activity that requires me to get my hands dirty—problem numero uno. Then, I think of the consistency I'd need to ensure that what I plant actually grows—let the church say, 'ain't nobody gat time fa that.'

I'm already cringing at the idea of pests and the proper way to ward them off without harming the plant. Then there's feeding the plant—on top of wondering if I've given it enough water, too little water or too much water? What if the sun is too hot, or what if the sun doesn't shine at all. Does the plant need shade, or should I leave it to nature to do its thing? Do I place it into a pot or drop the seed any ole' where and say abracadabra? Do seeds need particular soil, or will any dirt do? Finally, does this exercise require special tools, or can I use any object that comes to my hands? Gosh, I'm exhausted just thinking about it. It's perhaps me being lazy, but planting doesn't sound enjoyable—it's giving hard work and inconvenience, and I'm not about that life.

Let's face it; you already know planting was 'bout to be an issue after Adam and Eve's debacle in the garden. From you heard God say: "the ground is cursed because of you. All your life, you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat....." (see Genesis 3:17-19 NLT) #houstonwehaveaproblem

Uggh. It makes so much sense. This planting thing was never going to be a walk in the park. Still, I began to wonder if being planted is as important as where you're planted. And even more so, how much of a harvest will I yield once I've planted? I presume I'm not alone in not caring so much for the planting part; show me where I can reap at, aye!

I've not travelled as extensively as I'd like, but I've been to a few lovely places. And from the places I've seen, I have one observation: all trees can't thrive in all climates. Whew, chall, you already know I started rethinking my whole life.

Some years back, I found myself watching the Netflix Series Lucifer. Before you sit on your tuffet and judge me, hear me out. At first, it was a genuine curiosity about how they would paint the picture of the world's most beautiful fallen angel. I was intrigued because society kinda led us to believe that good ole Lucy (as he was affectionately called in the series) is ghastly looking, red with horns and a pitchfork.

Anyway, truer to his form, they didn't depict him as scary or pretentious as you'd imagine. But he was skillfully portrayed as charming, charismatic —and like phyllo dough, wrapped in layers of audacity. Although he appeared to throw out a lifeline to the victimized, you could bet your bottom dollar you were now indebted to him—payable only in the currency of your life.

The embellishments in this series were astounding, and if I weren't fluid in Bible knowledge, I'd be hoodwinked, bamboozled and run amuck. However, none of that stopped me from being totally enamoured by this character. At the end of season 2, I think, he was on the verge of being banished back to hell, and I was mortified. Ya, girl was so vested. I mean tore-up, rooting for Lucy and wishing against all odds that grace would be extended to him—as I was somewhat convinced he was honestly trying to be a better person.

When I caught myself, I realized how easy it was to be okie-doked. It wasn't even that he was a great character. He was selfish, arrogant and manipulative, to say the least. You'll know I'm pretty wordy, and still, I'm not able to articulate what had me so captivated. Needless to say, my internal conflict didn't stop me from binge-watching episode after episode, then feening for the next season like a jonser (Bahamian vernacular for a beggar).

Now, here's the coup de grâce—I was in the confines of my home, where there should be a semblance of safety. Yet, I was smitten with the enemy. I mean, think about it, he wasn't an intruder who forced himself on me. But I was planted on my cozy sectional and willingly opened my eye and ear gates to welcome him in. Regardless of the litany of things I swear I'd never do, Christendom's known adversary is an expert at finding the crack and seeps in almost unaware. Believe me, folks, it's that easy to be swayed.

I couldn't help but think of brothers Cain and Able. Same tent, same parents, a different set of values. Unlike Esau and Jacob, where the hand that rocked the cradle helped ruin the world. Or the fact that Jacobs brothers were content in selling him but watching their father grieve his 'believed to be dead' son. Then there is Miriam and Aaron, who join forces with other Israelites against their brother Moses. It begs to question, how can all of these people, on the one hand, believe in the same God yet do the opposite of what serving God means?

After reading several definitions of planted, I landed on one that resonated with me: set in the soil for growth ( This suggests to me that you can be in soil and still not grow. All of this tells me that 'planting' requires deliberate actions and deciding daily to do the right thing. #washrinserepeat Like a garden, it requires you to be sectioned-off, protected, yet accessible.

Then it hit me—I had an epiphany. My concept of planting was usually focused on the external action—what seeds I was sowing. Because I was so distracted by where I was planted and what I was putting into the ground, I failed to notice what was seeping inside of me. In other words, I was caught up in "oh be careful little feet where you go, and mouth what you say," that I wasn't filtering the "eyes what you see and ears what you hear."

If you're not convinced about how guarded you need to be with what is consumed, allow this verse to confirm the notion: "You shall not sow your vineyard with two kinds of seed, or everything produced by the seed which you have sown and the yield of the vineyard will become defiled [and banned for use]." Deuteronomy‬ ‭22:9‬ ‭AMP‬‬. Meaning there is no hedging of your bet when it comes to sowing. You can't play both sides!

Truth be told, I didn't always have a personal conviction about my content intake. I was of the opinion that as long as it wasn't constant, I could draw the line when I needed to. But have you ever found yourself doing things that seemed outside of your character? Well, here is why. All those things you thought were of no effect were slowly taking root, and when they sprang forth and bore fruit, you were taken aback.

It's like planting apples but expecting oranges. Out of the abundance of what you feed your mind, your mouth and actions will eventually speak.

Growth requires one to be stationary; by stationary, I mean stability. If I were to liken a plant to personal life, I'd say you'll know where you're planted by the abundance of your speech. You'll know what you're being watered with by what consumes your thoughts. And you'll see the degree of 'light' exposure by what you do when no one is watching. If that doesn't make you want to check your fruit, I don't know what will. If that doesn't make you wonder whether you are on good ground or not, then I don't know what to tell you.

Ask yourself, are you worth investing in? Are you fertile ground, and will what you produce, be good for food? 'Cause, it's one thing to be planted in good soil, but the real question becomes, are you ornamental (good for decoration) or do you have a function (able to provide nourishment)?

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