Think about God, the master gardener of your spiritual life. Think about the spiritual BEing you are right now.

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Draw a vine to represent your spiritual life … begin with designing a trellis to support your vine as it grows. Watch each branch grow as you draw it. No branch is more important than another. Yet each branch is dependent on the main vine stem and may need to be supported by the trellis. Let your vine do what vines do … Watch it creep and crawl and grow as you draw it. Draw any leaves, flowers, fruit … that you envision growing from the branches passing on nutrients from the vine. What do these growing things say to you about yourself? Is there anything else you need to make the vision of your spiritual life complete? Include any image that emerges, even one that seems out of place, in your drawing.

Contemplate your drawing in the silence for as long as it speaks to you. Search it as it searches you … When you are ready, if they provide useful guidance, use one or use more questions to go deeper. Remember, your rule of life chooses you as it emerges from within you. Then, you choose it! Take as long as you wish with each question … You may want to slow down, take one question a day … Allow questions to emerge from within you to show you the way:

What does your vine look like? What extras are included? How do they represent who you are? Grounded in the self-giving love of Jesus, the true grapevine, think about how you change your environment by using your fruitfulness. What is it that you “do” in your life that nourishes others as visibly as fruit on a vine nourishes those who partake of its goodness? Do you ever hide your fruitfulness? How? Why? How does fear invite you to “hide?”

What does your vine look like … and your branches? What does the depiction of your vine and branches say about the way you envision your spiritual life? What are you affirmed by? What challenges you? How do you remain in Jesus, the true grapevine? How does Jesus remain in you? How do you know when you are growing toward OR turning away from God in Christ? Where are you right now … growing toward or turning away?

How do you sense God as the master gardener of your spiritual life? If you drew anything else to complete the drawing of your spiritual life, what does that say to you? What kind of nourishment is your vine calling out for? What needs to be a part of your rule of life in order to stay open to God’s gentle tending or stronger rooting in your spiritual life?

Think of the trellis you drew to support your spiritual life as a vine. What is your trellis made of? How is it shaped? What does the material and shape of your trellis mean to you? What might the shape of your trellis say about how you envision the support you need for your spiritual life? What else do you need to support your spiritual life that you might include in your rhythm and rule of life? What might you need to understand about yourself that might impact how you structure and view your rhythm and rule of life?

O God, Master Gardener … I invite you into the garden of my life. I welcome everything you need to do to keep me growing and fruitful. Send the sunshine of your Spirit to draw me closer to you and rain down living water upon me so that I might be drenched in your presence now and always.

God - The Master Gardener