Keeping Our Souls Well

Gina Butz growth 1 Comment

“It’s alive!” This thought, like the ravings of a mad scientist, leapt to mind when I saw this yesterday:

It doesn’t look like much, but trust me – I had inadvertently done my best to kill this mint plant all through the summer and fall. Completely unintentional, I assure you, it’s just that I am not a good keeper of plants. The fact that it isn’t dead is nothing short of miraculous.

I bought this plant last summer at a farmer’s market in Minnesota. I dragged it with us to Colorado, then back to Orlando, where I put it on our front patio. In the Florida heat, it struggled to survive. I often forgot to water it. When I did, I might have drowned it a little. It wilted, and parts of it even died, but I didn’t take time to prune it. It seemed to want to survive, though its leaves were never as large as they initially were. It grew a little crazy, but not strong.

I finally wised up and looked online to see what mint plants actually need to survive. Turns out they need morning sun and other environmental factors I wasn’t providing. In fact, I could have been writing a book on how to kill a mint plant in 10 easy steps. I was not treating it well.

So I moved it to our lanai, where it drinks in morning sun and where I see it often enough to remember to water (but not drown) it. I had to cut it back to its roots essentially and hope for the best.

And now, weeks later, it is sprouting.

It’s no coincidence that I was reading Soul Keeping by John Ortberg when I saw my plant. God felt I needed a visual.

This mint plant is my soul. I can so easily be careless about the environment I put it in. I feed it what it doesn’t need and neglect to give it what it does. I forget about it. I think maybe it will just grow and flourish on its own. My soul wants desperately to thrive.

I’ve been thinking a lot, as I read this book, about what I must do to keep my soul well. I want to be a good keeper of my soul. There is pruning that needs to happen, a change of environment perhaps. Certainly greater diligence to its health and care, putting it in a place where I am aware of it more often. I made a list of what feeds my soul and what does not. I hope to shape my life more and more to fit that environment, so my soul can be fully alive.

How is your soul today?


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