Poor little ferns. I bought them at a community plant sale last May, potted them in a pot, and set them on my front step. I spent the entire hot summer pampering them as I dreamed and schemed about where I would tuck them into my flower beds in the fall. I loved their petite, silver-tinged leaves. I never failed to glance at my pot of little ferns as I ran into and out of my house over the course of the bustling, busy summer. Those ferns made me smile every time I passed by their pot — they were perfect.
And then I left. It was only four days. I forgot to give them a drink. You’d think the rainy day that kept us inside our rented cabin near Brainerd could have wandered just a bit further south to water them for me — nope. As I hurriedly herded my kids out the door one especially hectic morning at 7:55 a.m. on our way to the dentist appointment set for 8:00 a.m., I glanced at my little ferns.
NO! I did not realize how much I enjoyed those ferns until I realized the damage my benign neglect had caused — and so quickly! I didn’t care that I was already late for the dentist. I ran back into the house, grabbed a splash of water from the kitchen faucet, and doused my ferns.
I am not so very different from my little ferns. I get parched spiritually when I let life get too busy, my days get too full, and my weeks go too fast without slowing down and spending quiet moments in God’s presence. Just as I forgot to water my ferns, I sometimes neglect to set aside a quiet moment to meet God in the midst of never-ending to-do lists, juggling chores, and trying to keep that magical work/life balance everyone always talks about but never quite seems to accomplish.
As I slowly walked back up my sidewalk that evening, I glanced at my poor ferns. There was life in that pot, after all. They just needed a good drink of water, and so do I.