Enough, we decided, and Keith clipped the smothering vines one morning. They were wound so tightly, I had to wait for them to begin to wilt before I could remove them without damaging the rose vines. Do you know what happened? For five days those clipped and wilted vines put on new blooms and not just a few.
Finally on the fifth day, I grabbed some heavy duty scissors and began cutting and carefully unwinding them. After a half hour of cautious work and quite a few bloody thorn-pricks, nearly all the morning glories were lying in a pile along the bottom of the trellis and I discovered more rose vines than I ever imagined trailing along nearly the entire fifteen feet of trellis. I gathered the morning glories in an armful and tossed them out in the brushy field.
The next morning we came out to look at the roses. New red leaves grew on nearly every end, with half a dozen new buds. Finally we can breathe, they seemed to be screaming at us. Then we walked over to the field and out there in the thick grass lay those dead morning glory vines—with brand new purple, blue, pink, and magenta blooms on them! The next morning we saw more new morning glory blooms. It had been a week since they were cut and they had lain in the sub-tropical summer sun without even any rain. Yet there they were, putting on new blooms still, even though their vines were wilted and brown.
By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaks, Heb 11:4.
How many hundreds of names do we know from the pages of Scripture? Though they are long dead, their examples still speak to us and help us along our path.
Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Heb 12:1.
That great cloud of witnesses continues to speak as we read about their lives, as we study them in Bible classes and hear them spoken of in sermons. We give our children great Bible heroes to pattern their lives after, and well we should. But what is true of them is true of us as well.
After we are gone, our deeds will continue to speak, maybe not to as many as those in the pages of Scripture, but to everyone who knew us. What will they see in the field after we are gone? Will we leave nothing but a wilted vine, or will colorful blooms still dot the ground? Will the deeds we do continue to inspire others, or will our useless lives stand as an example not to follow? Will people talk about us with words of blessing or will others need to come along and undo the damage we left behind?
Think about my morning glories today. Someday your stem will be snipped, too. What will be left behind for others to see?
Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us, Titus 2:7,8.