Making The Cut

“One, two… second set of five… and snip. One, two… second set of five… and snip.” I talk to myself when I work in the yard. Sometimes I carry on very clever conversations. I have many times solved the world’s healthcare crisis, and occasionally solved the world’s financial crisis too! But most of the time I just mindlessly chatter and today was one of those days.

I’ve mentioned my grandmother before in one of my blog entries. She played a huge role in my life, and though she was affectionate enough she was not one of those huggable, lovable grandmothers. In fact until I was a teenager I think I was scared of her. But something changed when we began to grow up and my brothers and sisters and I developed a great relationship with her. She was a country woman transplanted into the city and she turned most of her yard into a garden. There on the corner of Washington and Roosevelt she tilled up the yard and planted row after row of vegetables. Like her, it was utilitarian. But there at the end, completely out of odds with the rest of the garden, she planted 40 rose bushes.

Her roses would cause cars to stop in the street and strangers would knock on her door and ask if they might have a small bouquet to take home. She knew her roses by name and we grew up talking about “Peace” and “Mr. Lincoln.” My brother decided to plant at least that many rose bushes at our house and when he left home I got stuck caring for them. And so I learned “Granny’s way” of taking care of rose bushes.

When we moved into this house 18 years ago I decided to plant a couple of rose bushes. I had taken care of a lot more rose bushes than that before, it ought to be a piece of cake, right? Two years and I decided they were as much work as children and two children were all I wanted to take care of. I let them die. (I let my children live.) Then I began to hear about these “Knockout” roses, pest free, disease resistant, self pruning. I planted some four years ago and with little effort on my part they have flourished beyond expectation. Granny would be proud!

Today I decided they looked kind of sad after their first extravagant bloom of the season and so I decided to deadhead them. For those of you that don’t know that means to trim off the old blooms. “Granny’s way” was to go down the stem to the second, not the first, not the third, but the second set of five leaves, then cut just above the tiny leaf bud. She was adamant about that. Two sets of five. If there were six leaves to a set, continue on until you found a set of five. I don’t know where she got this information, and some of you may be nodding that “Yes, that is exactly how you’re supposed to trim roses.” Others may be thinking that’s the oddest thing you’ve ever heard. But here I find myself deadheading roses that aren’t supposed to need deadheading and I’m counting out “one, two… second set of five… and snip.” It’s engrained, it’s the way I’ve always done it. But I know it’s not necessary anymore, and I could cut those roses anywhere on the canes and they would continue to bloom profusely.

I think sometimes I’m so caught up in the process of trying to effect change that I fail to admit how little impact I’M really going to have on the end result. Don’t get me wrong, if you know me at all you know I’m a list maker, a task doer, a thinker, a planner. But I’m not the Master Gardener here, God is. I need to let go and let God take the pruning shears out of my hand. Maybe He won’t carefully count out two sets of five leaves. He may cut somewhere on the cane I might not want Him to. My long range plans may have little resemblance to His. I need to trust that I’m a “Knockout” though, wherever He cuts I will bloom!

“He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:2 (NIV)

Other Posts You Might Like:

The Lord Will Provide - Bob Bentley

Open Letter to the Church - Kim Cook

Where is Love? - Ross Thomson

Body of Christ - Laurie Templeton

Calm - Andres Badillo



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McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209



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