I have lived most of my adult life in an area of the country, where if you wanted living plants and green grass you had to water them most every day. Rain was reserved for a few of the winter months, and even then it was scarce.
Automated sprinkler systems were a way of life as the grass stayed green and the roses were glorious. We have prayed a lot for rain this summer in central Iowa. When my lawn was looking more and more like a bowl of shredded wheat someone remarked, “You don’t have to worry about your lawn being brown, it’s not dying, it’s just dormant.”
I actually thought that dormancy was reserved for winter when the tiny grass roots shivered themselves into a long winter’s nap before being awoke to the spring thaw. I was now learning that dormancy can last more than a season. Interesting. It made me wonder if dormancy could be the norm or would ultimately result in death.
I explored more deeply and found that dormancy actually means “alive, but not actually growing.” So, when my grass is alive, but not actually growing, it turns a light tan and the soft green blades of grass are replaced with hard and prickly spikes that sing “snap, crackle and pop” when you walk on them.
Now I am a pastor, not a scientist. I am sure that all of these processes have logical explanations. That word “dormant” really got me thinking about people as I am pretty sure in the course of my life I have encountered a few that are alive, but not actually growing.
As Christ followers, we are rooted in Christ and there are many pictures in the Bible of what it means to grow as a Christian. If a Christian is dormant, they may not turn a light tan in color, but perhaps they get hard and prickly and may even snap, crackle and pop a lot.
When my lawn gets this way, I take out a hose. That’s probably not appropriate for people, so let’s look at what the Bible says. Colossians 2:6-7 “So then, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, being rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and overflowing with gratitude.”
To be alive, but not growing is an existence that is bleak, at best. Jesus offers so much more!. Practice the holy habits of reading the Bible, praying, living a life of worship, being in a community with other growing Christ-followers in the church and seeking to give away from the overabundance of grace that you have been given to others. In the words of Psalm 1, you will be a well watered tree.
School is starting for students and late August, and early September is always a good place to have a new beginning. Determine not to be dormant. With a growing, well saturated soul with what the Lord brings, you will actually be the living gospel in a world that desperately needs lasting good news.