Tendrils of the Heart

Of course, while walking the dogs early this morning…

2014-10-06 08.03.40Something caught my eye this morning, and it is something I know so well, but there was a brush of thought. Where we live, and where we have lived in Alaska and Texas, it is always a sweet thing to see the berry bushes produce those succulent black berries that are good to eat fresh off the vine, or collected and cooked into something to enjoy later.

The one thing we know, at least here on our homestead, if we do not control these bushes they will spread and take over just about everything. Good for the birds and small mammals, but it can waste a lot of land!

The picture shows a tendril coming off the main stalk of the plant creeping through the grass as it tries to find a place to expand. When I mow  later this week I will corral this growth, but until then the plant extends itself.

It grows until it hits a barrier that prevents expansion.

This morning it took me a moment to recognize the truth of this. Application is more than simply thinking about whether we allow the bushes to expand, or controlled to a smaller footprint. This is truly applicable to a lot of things in my life. Friends, neighbors, God, we often control our connection to others, or we allow ourselves to extend into these arenas.

The Good or Bad of it is the control we have. We can allow extension or we can draw back. When we lose control, the Good or Bad of it is what do we do to regain our position?

There are parts of me that are like tendrils, reaching out to the world around me. Either it’s good or bad, depending on the audience. If they cut me off, then I can not expand myself into their lives. If the extension is cultivated, then somewhere a long the way we will have a connection, too, whether Good or Bad.

The obverse is true. We can allow Good or Bad into our own world by the tendrils of other gardens. Like a watchmen standing on the wall and looking out for danger coming into the camp, a Good or Bad thought is whether the watchmen can appropriately do the job, AND, if those who are being watched over will heed the warning.

Consider that Paul dealt with this in a slightly different way when he wrote to Timothy.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.   (2 Timothy 3:1-7 KJV)

As the world adapts to the new standards of life and living, someone still needs to be the voice to step up and warn about the dangers of accepting these dangerous tendrils. The bible is my guide for allowing or preventing extension of this world we live in. I have pastors that speak into my life to help me know barriers and dangers, and I listen to them.

I am curious, what are the tendrils of your life doing today? Are you being rebuffed, or perhaps you are expanding your reach?