Nourished from within
This weekend my husband and I drove up to my parents to help out with some good old outdoor country living physical labour! Since I moved into the city I look forward to those weekends when I can go back home and just do some work outside and be in nature. We were clearing out a bunch of trees and replanting, which definitely pushed our strength especially in the heat.
In the final hour or so I was finishing replanting the final trees and I'll admit my mindset at that point was "just get this done!" I was tired, sweaty, hot and my body decided to break out into hives from the pine trees pricking me. My eye for quality was no longer there, nor was my motivation to make sure everything was done properly. My focus was "dig a hole, place tree in hole." That was it.
After dinner my dad said he was going to go water the trees I replanted so that they would get a good dose of nourishment and settle in well. He comes back within a few min and tells me that we need to fix the trees or else they will dry out.
"We need to properly cover the trees with the extra soil and grass so they have good support and coverage for the roots, and then we need to water them VERY well, or else they will just dry out and die if they are just plopped into a hole and all that work will be for nothing."
I went with him to help and you could already see the branches starting to droop down because they have not had a good supply of water for some time.
This made me think of my own spiritual life. We can sometimes create this hole in the ground through knowing all the rules, or knowing all the good things we need to do in order to be a "good Christian." But then we will just plop our roots into that hole and do nothing more. Eventually we will dry out and whither because even though we made a good planting place for us, we did not cover our roots with soil and water them well.
It's not enough just to know what is right from wrong, or know what is the good thing to do. We need to properly nourish our roots everyday. This means filling ourselves with God's love and his word, cultivating that life of virtue and striving for it everyday.
We cannot grow unless we are properly nourished from within.