So I bought another one this year. I did exactly what I had done the first time: I went to the garden section of the big box home improvement store and picked out the nicest looking rosemary plant they had. For two months it sat there and did nothing. It did not grow one inch. The first day I needed some, I cut way back on the amount the recipe called for because I was afraid I would kill the thing if I actually snipped off two four inch stems. And they weren't even four inch stems—it had never gotten that large.
Finally, I had had enough. We were at the same store and I picked up another plant. This one showed new growth on the limbs within a week and I have used it several times without harming the plant at all. It sits there with its little arms spread out as if it is reaching for the sun, with new, bright green showing up every day. Pardon my anthropomorphism, but this little guy wants to grow and flourish while the other plant, now four months from its original installation, still just sits there. It hasn't wilted and died yet, though I have expected it for a good while. No, it just doesn't give a hoot. Sooner or later I will yank it up to make room for something useful.
Funny how I have seen the same thing happen among Christians. You can't hide it, folks, and as a Bible class teacher I really can see it. One student comes in excited and takes notes like a whirling dervish, answering and asking questions, eager to not only share what she has discovered but also to find out where she may have erred. (Imagine that!) Another comes and spends the entire time looking at her phone, looking up to me occasionally, but only if someone has laughed because she wants to see what she has missed.
Sitting on a pew is not what Christianity is about. Don't get me wrong—I certainly have nothing against assembling together (see yesterday's post). God seems to think we need it, judging by the number of things we are supposed to do "when you are come together," and I would never second-guess God. But if sitting on a pew is all there is to your Christianity, you are useless to Him and sooner or later you will die. We are supposed to grow so we can give of ourselves to Him, each other, and the community we live in, and then grow some more so we can give some more. Over and over again.
I expect to have this new plant for the rest of my time here. As long as it keeps its present "attitude," I will. What can God expect of you?
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. (John 15:5-6).