Thursday, December 28, 2006

Are you an African violet?

The African violet is a plant from East, (surprise, surprise,) Africa. It is a small plant with heart-shaped velvety leaves, with different shades of Blue, purple or pink flowers. It is an ideal pot plant for small containers and small places.

As it is from a tropical climate, it has special requirements, such as a humid environment and is best watered by having the pots situated on stones and watered once a week, from the bottom up, with only tepid or luke-warm water. The stones allow ample drainage, because while they require lots of moisture they don’t like being saturated with it, all week.

With such conditions required, it has found a niche for itself in warm steamy conditions such as often found in Bathrooms and such. However, take them away form their ideal conditions and not only do they struggle but often give up the ghost very quickly and shrivel up and die. Thus the African violet, although well praised for its beauty, has a temperamental tag to it and is best left to the experts.

Sadly there are many Christians like that; they like to be watered once a week with tepid, non challenging sermons. Then they have a week’s gap for it to drain away before the next watering. They desire and need lots of care but treat them other than how they want to be treated and like the African violent they will curl up and drop away.

In a previous article I mentioned the Agapanthus plant, which is also a native of Africa, one that not only survives in hard conditions but becomes rampant and dominant if it finds itself in friendlier conditions.

Neither trend is ideal. We need to be versatile and hardy, able to make the most of whatever conditions God places us in. We should supplement and set off the best qualities in each other, rather than competing with and crowding out all others in our own little piece of God’s garden.

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