Rev. Aleese Kenitzer
Aleese Kenitzer serves as the pastor of Shepherd of the Cross Church in Muscatine.

Muscatine Living

Along with many in the Muscatine community, recently I took my annual pilgrimage to the local greenhouse to purchase a selection of vegetables and flowers. Carefully transferring these delicate samplings into my car and then into the ground, I was proud of myself for creating an environment for those little guys to grow. Taking a step back, it baffled me to think that, by the end of the summer, those thin samplings would emerge into full-blown plants needing cages to support them!

Dusting off my gloves, I made my way inside. As I was grabbing a glass of water in the kitchen, my eye caught a succulent in a small, small pot. The succulent was a gift from a friend, given years ago, and clearly the plant had outgrown the pot. For quite some time, repotting the plant had been an item on my to-do list. I’d been stalling. It takes work to re-pot, I told myself. It takes time. It takes energy. It takes new materials to work with. So, with all those excuses, for months that little succulent had stayed in a miniature pot even though it truly, truly needed something bigger.

Alas, after tending to plants outside, I recognized that maybe it was time to create a better environment for my plant inside. So, with a trip to the basement for a bigger pot, and a trip to Menards to get the right potting soil, that little succulent finally got a better home. Lo and behold, in the short time since that succulent has been in a bigger pot, the growth I’ve witnessed has been nothing short of mind-boggling.

Cleaning up my materials, it made me wonder about the times in our lives in which we keep ourselves in a smaller pot than we really need. We might recognize that something needs to change, that we’re settling, or that we need something “more” to really grow, but that takes extra work, extra time, extra energy, and sometimes other supplies or tools than we currently have at our disposal. So, we make excuses. Other things, or other people, need our attention, we tell ourselves.

Here’s the thing, when we finally allow ourselves to be replanted in a bigger pot, there’s often a heck of a lot of growth, so much so that it’s mind-boggling.

So, as you look to the summer, I encourage you to consider if there are ways in which you are keeping yourself in a smaller pot than you really need in order to grow. Might there be parts of your life that need to be re-potted? Where are you feeling constricted? Where are you playing it “small?”

Just like those small samplings at our local greenhouses are not meant to stay six inches tall, you also are not meant to remain the same. You were created to grow and to thrive. So seek out those extra supplies and tools if you need ’em and get your hands a little dirty. The result might very well be mind-boggling growth.

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