Most of us begin the New Year with high hopes, new goals, and several resolutions. These help us strive toward great accomplishments. However, when we add something new, we often fail to subtract something old or unnecessary. Therefore, we overschedule, overcommit, and overburden our lives.
To encourage success with our new goals and resolutions, Dr. Henry Cloud in Necessary Ending suggests evaluating things in our lives like a master gardener evaluates a prize rosebush. The rosebush creates more buds than the rosebush can adequately support. Therefore, the gardener chooses the best ones and prunes the rest. The pruning creates a healthy environment for the remaining buds; so, they have access to the resources to become great roses instead of just good roses.
In our lives, many opportunities and possibilities come our way. We must evaluate each one to determine which are the best options and which are just good options. When we choose the best, we eliminate the good (and the not so good). This allows us to focus our energy and resources on becoming the best.
Dr. Cloud’s second comparison is evaluating what is sick or diseased. After water, fertilizer and TLC are tried, the gardener prunes the parts that are never going to be healthy.
Likewise, we all have things in our lives where we spend too much energy trying to revive what was. Once we recognize the futility of our efforts, we can honestly prune off the unhealthy areas; so, the healthy areas have a better chance to grow into something great.
Finally, Dr. Cloud says that a master gardener recognizes and prunes off buds and branches that are dead and taking up space. These dead parts restrict the growth and development of the healthy buds and branches. Once these are pruned, the healthy buds and branches can growth and develop to their fullest potential.
Similarly, we need to evaluate what is taking up space in our lives. Once we recognize what our deadwood is, we can remove it and allow the healthy parts of our lives to flourish.
When we are brave enough to evaluate what is good but not great, what is unhealthy and never going to revive, and what is dead and taking up space, we can prune away the hindrances and allow the new opportunities and possibilities to reach beautiful maturity in our lives and ministries.
May God help you in your pruning process.
Happy New Year!