90° by 9

Dear Servant Leader,

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way that I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8

Are you a morning person? Most people aren’t. I have recently had a rude awakening concerning early morning plant care here in AZ. I never imagined I would find myself, morning after morning trying to find my inner “green thumb.” The short of it is, it is 90° by 9:00am (8:38am and already 85° on the way to a high of 106° today!) here in the desert and you had better get up early if you want to beat the heat and do the watering, pruning and weeding necessary to give your vegetation a fighting chance. Even as I write this I am still trying to cool down after 30 minutes of doing so. The question is, will my flowers make it through another scorcher?

As leaders we are so often “Type A’s” who, regardless of whether we are actually morning people or not, are up and gone to “get ahead.” The temptation is to do so without doing what needs done in order to beat the heat of the day ahead… some spiritual watering, pruning and weeding. My challenge to you is simple, recommit to getting alone with God through His Word and prayer each and every morning. I’ll be the first to admit that I have rushed out many times on my way to do the “Lord’s work” without actually checking in with the Lord. Besides, I reason that I’ll be referencing the Scriptures and praying as I drive to and from the church, hospital, team leader meeting, phone conference, etc. And, I might even get in a little message or lesson prep and, of course, I’ll be in the Scriptures then, too. You are way ahead of me…

This just doesn’t cut it. The heat is on early most given days. The only way a leader can insure they are ready is to get up just a little earlier and get alone with God. No excuses. Is it worth it? You know it is. Just as surely as you know what a grind it is when you try to go without it. Will God be there for you when you call, regardless? Yes. He is just that good. However, you may not have to call so desperately, so fast if you are more prepared in Him to begin with. Instead, you can be ready, watered, pruned, weeded… ready to bloom, grow and bear fruit as a “branch” that is in the life-giving “Vine.”

Remember, start early. The heat won’t wait.

Under God’s Gracious Green Thumb,

Tom 

p.s. By grace, my flowers are still surviving, even blooming in this heat! God is amazing!

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