Replenishment (Texas Versus Arizona)

I've almost forgotten what crops look like, being out here in Arizona. Except for the orange trees blooming a few months back, I haven't seen any agriculture, or very much natural plant life for that matter. I was excited to see the pines around Flagstaff last month, but even then I was disappointed to learn that there was very little grass beneath those pines. I have this desire to run through a naturally grassy field, to see cotton and corn growing in vast rows, with plant life all around and random woodland animals milling about. I miss torrential downpours that seem to last for three days straight (although I don't miss the ensuing mosquito attacks).

This past week, Central hosted a satellite campus of The Leadership Summit on the Mesa campus. One of the speakers, I think it was Bill Hybels, talked about replenishment, and the need for a replenishment plan in a church leader's life. That word, "replenish," brought to mind the way that the land responded in South Texas, after a downpour released the area from a drought. There was so much natural growth, so much life, after those rains. Everything was green, and growth turned to overgrowth as the plant life held little regard for man's preferred topography.

Here in the East Valley of Arizona, there is so little growth because there is so little rain. That which does grow is controlled, nurtured, and usually doesn't look natural at all. There is no wildness to the trees or the grass you see. Everything that you see was planned, and lately I don't like that very much.

I think of this difference, between natural and unnatural growth, and I wonder if we are more like Arizona than Texas sometimes. I wonder if we aren't getting our replenishment from God; if we are far from where His rains are, and yet determined to make it work anyway. If we are lucky, we get what we planned, and nothing more. If not, we get less, or nothing at all. Either way, our souls are barren desert masquerading as an oasis. There is no wild and untamable nature in our spirits, just predictable and safe unnatural growth.

I want to be like Texas; to have my droughts, but always be just a flash flood away from life in abundance.

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