I have frequently had people ask me when looking at the flowers in our yard – “How do you get so many blooms?” “Do you fertilize?”
I deadhead. As soon as a bloom begins to fade, I cut it off.
To be completely transparent, I do fertilize plants in pots because if I water regularly, as I must, nutrients leach out of the soil and must be replenished. We are blessed with great soil in our yard so I do not fertilize plants in the ground.
Yet, back to deadheading. My father, former biology teacher and naturalist in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, regularly reminded me of the following –
So, deadheading produces more flowers. Each evening I go around our yard with scissors and cut off the spent blooms. New blooms keep growing! I also cut flowers to bring in our home or give away to friends.
HINT: Cut flowers first thing in the morning before the day heats up. Put them in cool water as soon as possible. The flowers will last longer.
While deadheading our flowers the other day I began thinking about how I hold onto things, sometimes when they are no longer useful or don’t work any longer.
- I leave old food in the fridge – “Maybe Phil will eat this…” way longer than I should.
- I keep old clothes that no longer fit – “Maybe someday I will wear that size again…”
- I keep old books I have already read – “Maybe I will read this again someday…”
Do I do this in my spiritual life as well? Do I hold on to old practices just because they are familiar or comfortable? Do the old patterns prevent me from experiencing a fresh awareness of the Holy Spirit working in my life?
Jesus was sharing with his followers the importance of recognizing the new when the disciples asked him about a spiritual practice they were used to doing – fasting.
Jesus is encouraging his followers to see spiritually in new ways. BUT – Jesus is not throwing out the baby with the bath water. He doesn’t say “don’t mend a garment” or “don’t pour wine”. Instead Jesus wants his followers to receive the new wine – the TRUTH of his teachings – and store them in a new container that will not burst and be ruined. The truth of Jesus’s teachings could not be stored in the traditional teachings of the synagogue or through the Pharisees and Sadducees. The “new container” was the Church – the Body of Christ – you and I.
Jesus wants his followers – you and I – to be that new wine skin containing the new wine. We do this by allowing his Holy Spirit to flow through us. Jesus will reveal himself to us each day if we “deadhead” so the new can bloom.
When I deadhead I just cutoff the fading bloom. I do not cut off the whole plant. Spiritually, that means I remain in fellowship, read and study his Word, and listen to teaching from faithful followers of Jesus.
It also means I allow fresh new insights from the Holy Spirit – that are “new every morning”.