Freeze Warning

The weather service just issued our first “Freeze Warning” for the season. Time to fire up the furnace, (we haven’t yet), cover the plants and find my fleece socks and fuzzy slippers…

Interestingly, the cats were warning us of this a few days ago. They were always finding snuggly places and warm humans. Fleecy blankets which were ignored a month ago are prized landing zones. And don’t leave anything wuzzly on a flat surface or you will have a cat holding it down for you.

But what started this post was actually a phrase in the email “ALERT” that just popped in…

“The first FREEZE WARNING of a season usually signifies the end of the annual growing season for the warned area. A freeze warning is issued when below freezing conditions are imminent. These conditions will kill crops and other sensitive vegetation left outdoors.”

A lot of my studies this semester have been focused on creating a climate for spiritual growth. Preaching. Teaching. Small groups. Pastoral care. “Disciple-making” and “leadership development” come with a lot of early warning systems for the “end” of a spiritual growing season. At least, I think that there are some “freeze warnings” for our hearts. Simple things like…

  • Excuses
  • Lowered commitment (in time, talents or treasures)
  • Lack of follow-through

I look at my own “growth curve” and my own cycles of growth and struggle. There’s times of amazing growth and lush development of my gifts. There’s the fruit-bearing and harvest times. There’s also the pruning and ‘die-back’ season when things seem fallow and dead. And then, the time again for buds and promised change.

Where am I now? Where are you? I think that as we ask each other these questions, we all become more fruitful for the Kingdom’s sake. Even in the coming “FREEZE”… God is there.

But as someone who is committed to seeing others grow spiritually, there is also a lesson in this. I can’t make anyone “grow.” And I am not responsible if they choose not to. And… perhaps the most important… the climate I set and maintain is only the setting, not the reason for their growth.

Just musing…

Deb

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