A Jungle

pic of path in the jungle

Our Jungle

My wife and I live in a small, 1950s subdivision. Nearly every house in our subdivision, including ours, has been added on to. In 1950, people could raise four kids in a two-bedroom, one bath house. Now it takes at least three bedrooms and two bathrooms for two people. This is definitely a 1st-world problem.

So, our next-door neighbor, to the north of us, is an original owner. She and her husband bought their home when the subdivision was still being built. She’s a fount of information and a lover of gardens. We learned from her that the original owner of our home loved gardens, too – this was no surprise.

Sadly, two subsequent owners of our home did little, then nothing with the grasses and flowers that were so meticulously planned and planted in our yard. So, when we bought our home, we – meaning my wife – had a mammoth challenge to beat our land back into submission!

Beaten into Submission

With astonishing effort, my wife has succeeded. However, the result sometimes feels like we live in a garden that has patches of green grass instead of a yard that has a few gardens. No worries. My wife and I have discussed this so I’m not speaking behind her back 😉.

Something I learned from living here is that gardens are only enjoyable when they are tended to. In the twinkling of an eye, a garden will transform itself into a jungle, if left unchecked. Gardens require care and commitment. So, too, do our souls.

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

Radical Christianity

The “if we do not give up” part of this verse is the care and commitment we must tend to. We must care about being a follower of Jesus. Does that seem strange? I hope not.

Being a Christian is a 24x7x365 life. We mustn’t be casual Christians. That’s how a garden becomes a jungle. Instead, we must be radical Christians. Did you know that the 1st definition of the word “radical” is relating to or proceeding from a root: of or growing from the root of a plant? (Merriam-Webster) That definition kind of goes with the gardens thing, right?! A more ordinary understanding of the word “radical” is:

(Especially of change or action) relating to or affecting the fundamental nature of something; far-reaching or thorough.

It is this definition I mean when I say that we must be radical Christians. Christ Jesus must affect the fundamental nature of us for us to be born-again. But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He has given us the Holy Spirit and He continually works in and through us to defeat our worldly nature, to transform us by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), to move us from the cares of this world to caring about heaven, where our treasure resides.

Our hearts, our hopes, our happiness must be firmly grounded in our Savior, Jesus Christ. Anything less, and we become a jungle.

Photo by Jacob Plumb on Unsplash

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