31 Mar 2022

Lenten Devotional, Day 22, Unnecessary Competition (episode 82)

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Today, I did my sit spot time in my daughter’s yard because I was out of town. I had a very difficult time settling in and being present. Mainly, I struggled because of a poor night of sleep the night prior. I have long-standing issues with getting to bed early.  As I struggled to focus this morning, I couldn’t help but notice that she has several trees incased in Virginia Creeper. If you aren’t familiar with this plant, it is a sprawling, five-leafed vine that loves to climb trees.

I was curious if Virginia Creeper, can kill a tree. So, I did some research. What I discovered is that this vine can indeed kill a tree, though it’s not likely. The main problem is that if the vine covers leaves, this depletes the trees capacity for photosynthesis. Plus, the vine competes for water. As a result, the tree lacks what it needs to grow and spends most of its energy just trying to survive.

I suspect all of us have something in our lives akin to Virginia Creeper. Something that creeps in, takes over and sucks away time and energy. Having a hard time sleeping can be that way for me. I’m not going to drop dead tomorrow from having poor sleep, but walking around half dead, can sure make thriving difficult.

What are other examples of behaviors that silently sneak up on you the are life inhibiting or life depleting?  How about social media? Or binging Netflix? Will these activities, kill you? Not likely. But, they sure can zap time better spent with family, friends, or on your health.

Worst of all, invasive, distracting behaviors are almost certain to choke off time better spent connecting to God and obeying his word. As a result, you will find yourself merely spiritually surviving, rather than thriving. This isn’t God’s desire for your life. God came that you might have both eternal life and life abundant.

In order to thrive you must prune invasive behaviors out of your life. Finding the root of these behaviors and digging them up so they never come back would be even better.

Questions: What in your life right now competes for your time or attention in a way that is life-depleting? How can you sever this behavior? Or, better you how can you dig it up from it’s roots?

A Collect of Pruning:  Holy God, who offers us freely Jesus Christ, the light of the world and living water that we might never thirst or hunger, reveal to us what we allow in our lives that impedes us from fully being nourished by your Son, so that we might prune it away and thrive, in Jesus name we pray. Amen.




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