baby's-breath

  © 2017 Gerry Carr

© 2017 Gerry Carr

I was cleaning my room the other day, dusting a shelf. On this shelf, I have books I've read halfway through, a mostly-melted candle, a brown succulent, and a lovely bunch of baby's-breath from an event long ago.

This shelf, I feel, is a fairly accurate representation of how I go through life much of the time.  I am ambitious. I start many things, but don't often finish them. I want to see things thrive and grow, but then abandon them when I should be watering. 

I could easily write an entire post about how I should put more effort into finishing the projects I start. Instead, I am going to focus on the thing God used to speak to me most profoundly: the baby's-breath.

 

The delicate little flowers sat in a jar on the shelf, and seemed to give such life to the still air. I stopped to admire the intricacy of each tiny bloom before continuing to clean. As I looked the other way, I gently bumped the jar with the baby's-breath, which consequently tipped the entire thing on its side. That is all it took for the whole bunch of flowers to fall apart. I had apparently forgotten that old flowers get crispy and begin to crumble. The force of the jar tipping over caused at least half of the tiny flowers to fall off the stems and my carpet was soon freckled with white.

 

A single question popped into my mind. "What are the dead baby's-breath in my life?"

What are the things in my life that look great from a distance (and maybe even up close!) but are actually long dead? I had left the baby's-breath on display because it looked nice. I left it up because I liked that it made me seem like the person I wanted to be (the type of person that keeps pretty things around). While the bunch of flowers had changed slightly since I first placed it on the shelf, it generally looked the same as it did when it was still alive. When tested, however, it proved to be dead.

There are often things in our lives that once were alive, thriving, beneficial, and beautiful. We allow those things to continue to be a part of us, even after they are crispy, because they make us look good. However, we have to learn when it's time to allow ourselves to be pruned and have the dead things removed so that we have the space for healthy things to grow instead.

So I ask, what are the dead baby's-breath in your life?

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