Saturday, October 8, 2011

Expand

A few weeks ago the plants around my house were beginning to look very dried out and sad no matter what I did to maintain them. After a few weeks of this watering and pruning Tango, I knew it was time to re-pot the plants. Now I am not the best with plants, I just happen not to kill them (mostly), but I don't claim to be a green thumb or anything.

I have always been intrigued by the similarities between plant life and human life. The need for water and nourishment; how we both thrive in light; the growth and the discovery that there are parts of us that we can live without (as a matter of fact we tend to become stronger when certain things are cut away). I could go on.

So when the time comes for re-potting a plant (or expanding in area of our lives) and the parallels are even more relevant:

1. You must know when it time to re-pot or the plant will actually begin to die. The roots will begin to grow in circles, the leaves will become brown, and the soil can no longer support the root system. We must also know how to recognize when our time has come to expand beyond our current situation or we too run the risk of a slow death. Think of time when you stayed somewhere beyond your season. How did it turn out? Did you become physically or emotionally sick? Did circumstances FORCE you out? Could this have been avoided if you had re-potted yourself as soon as you began seeing the signs?

2. You must not choose a pot that is too big when you are re-potting the plant. This is the "Goldilocks Principle". The current pot is too small, there are other pots that are way too big, but you must find the one that is just right to move your plant to. When a plant is re-potted in a pot that is too large the soil absorbs too much water actually stunting the growth of the plant. The same goes for us; when the time comes we know we need to move but where to? We must not make the mistake of jumping into jobs, relationships, etc that we are not prepared for. Seek out the guidance of the Creator and you cannot go wrong because He is the one who knows the plans he has for you. Momentum is important but incremental steps are necessary for maximizing full growth in life.

3. Finally, once the plant is re-potted within days it can take on a new shape and an immediate transformation often occurs. I often wonder why I allowed the plant to remain in the too small pot so long. When we expand we also realize how much we were ready for that new challenge that causes us to growth and think differently. We end up having a metamorphosis and these can and will occur many times over. We literally become new in the new situation. When we expand in the right direction it is very liberating as well. I have also looked back and wondered why I didn't make certain moves sooner. We were created to rule and conquer so we shouldn't be surprised that we become stagnant when we remain in dead-end jobs, relationships and mindsets.

We must continue to expand our capacity to grow and learn to live a fulfilled life. I am stretching out in this season and I know that it is just about time to expand in some areas of my life. I am EXCITED about leaving my old pot behind even though there may be uncertainty ahead. I am prepared and ready to grow into my new space. I encourage everyone to check their pots today and make plans to expand; ask the Lord to enlarge your territory and move on into the next season of your life!