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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Like potted plants, people can become "root-bound."

We have a beautiful "Christmas Cactus," which I gave to my wife as a gift 24 years ago. It has accompanied us through tough years and good times. It has lived with us in four different communities and has been present during the raising of our family. But it almost died.

As the small plant grew, we transferred it to a larger pot. It did well for about twenty years, but then began to die. It seemed that no amount of feeding, coddling or attention helped. We finally plucked a few leaves, re-rooted them and started over.

We could barely remove the now dead plant from its pot for all the knotted and intertwined roots. The beautiful succulent died because it outgrew its environment. The plant changed, but the container it lived in stay the same.

People, too, can die when they outgrow their environments. They need broader views; bigger challenges. Songwriter Bob Dylan put it this way: "If you are not busy being born, you are busy dying."

One man was offered employment at a salary higher than he had ever made in his life. After careful consideration, he declined the position.

"What's the matter?" his potential boss asked. "Isn't the salary big enough?"

"The salary is fine," the man said. "It's the job that's not big enough." He chose growth over decline; life over death.

Karen Kaiser Clark said: "Life is change... Growth is optional... Choose wisely." Good advice -- especially when we find ourselves becoming root-bound.

Today you will change. But will you grow?


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