Sunday, October 10, 2010

The sin of Neglect

I've been neglecting my blog lately. To be honest, I've been neglecting many things lately. The list is a rather long one.

For long time readers of my blog, you might be somewhat familiar with my little bonsai tree Paga-chan. Paga-chan was given to me for my birthday several years ago from a dear friend. This said dear friend loves bonsai very much, and likes to grow her trees from seeds. She had just separated two seedlings she had been growing, and she gave one to me. I however, do not have much of a green thumb. I'm not good with plants. Or fish. Or small things that require a lot of attention, but don't demand it and remind me constantly. I'm good with small children, dogs and cats that remind you when they have needs (and make you pay the consequences rather quickly when you don't meet those needs.) But there was a reason I wanted the bonsai. I wanted to learn perseverance.

Paga-chan has been nice enough to teach me many things about my relationship with God, and recently is helping teach me a more sobering lesson. One I need to learn over and over. The lesson of neglect.

You see trees don't react quickly. If a tree is sick, it takes a while to show up. There are no immediate reactions to motivate. If you haven't guessed by now, I've been neglecting Paga-chan recently. I was supposed to re-pot her a long time ago and check her roots. But since I had never done that before, and didn't really have a clue as to how to do it, I'd been putting it off. This job also makes it more difficult for me to water her and look after her. So there's lot's of "I'll do it later." About a month or so ago, I finally got around to re-potting poor Paga. She had a few brown needles, but I thought she was doing ok. I didn't really do anything with the roots, just put her in a slightly bigger pot, hoping she would survive.

Then all her needles started getting brown. Poor Paga looks rather sad. You know the pine tree in A Charlie Brown Christmas? Imagine smaller and all the needles are brown instead of green. With less needles. She's a sad sight. It'll probably take until next spring to know for certain if she is dead or not. My dear friend gave me some instructions about roots and such, so I have re-re-potted her, and hopefully she will survive.

Right now there are a lot of circumstances coming to a head right now. Many things are happening because of neglect on my part. When so many things happen at the same time, it's easy to feel lost in a storm. It's easy to feel crushed and just want to give up. After all, for many of them, it's my fault.

Sorry for the vagueness, but there's a lot that I can't go into detail here.

But this has got me thinking a lot. (funny how trouble does that.) It suddenly dawned on me the seriousness of the sin of neglect. Neglect is something that is so easy to do. It's easy to think that you are tired, or that you have plenty of time later. It's easy to rationalize it away. So many little little steps. And you never think they will have major repercussions. After all, who really thinks of neglect as a sin? I mean really, it's not so bad right?

That's the danger isn't it? People die from neglect. It's a crime to neglect children or pets. What was the order God gave Adam and Eve? Take care of the earth. Neglect goes directly against God. It's so easy to do, because there's rarely instant consequences. It's easy to let it build up over days, months, years, until everything just falls apart, rotten from the inside out. I neglect my blog, my house, my family, my friends, my health, my spiritual life, my relationships.... All this neglect is degrading my life away. And now the signs are showing. And when the signs start showing, that means there is little time left. The consequences have come due. Oh yeah, it's not a pretty sight.

Fortunately, I have a God who loves me. He has watched my neglecting ways. He has forgiven my neglecting ways. He has even seen fit to open my eyes to the seriousness of my actions. And now, I wait. I wait to see what the verdict is for the charges against me. I will have to pay the consequences soon. I don't know what they are yet, but I know that they will be just, and maybe there will be some grace thrown in the mix. But the good news is, God never neglects me. I often neglect Him, but He will never neglect me.

Wow. I can't even imagine. Neglect is such a horrible thing. Can you imagine what it feels like to be the one neglected? It's got to be worse than being hated. You just don't matter. You have become nothing. Not worth my time or my energy. I can't imagine much worse.

And I did that to God. I've done it to many people I love. I can't believe how terrible that is. But what amazes me is that I am still loved. God still loves me and promises to provide for me. My friends and family still love me and want the best for me. There is still hope for Paga-chan.

I'm not sure what the point of this is, other than the need to reflect and confess my own sin. The need to put into words, what is so easy to (for lack of a better word...) neglect. I'm not trying to imply that this sin is more terrible than any other sin. I'm just trying to remind myself that it is the same as any other sin. And that it is a real sin, and a prominent one in my life.

There are a lot of things that need to be worked out. Strongholds to break down, relationships to build, lessons to learn, prayers to pray. But I feel hope for the future. I have a God who does not neglect me. And I can grow and change. There is hope for Paga-chan, but more importantly, there is hope for me. There is hope for Japan, a land full of neglect. So I wait. I wait to see if Paga will survive. I wait to see if I will be living in Japan next month. I wait to see if my relationships will be given new life. I wait to see if I will learn the lesson better this time. And I pray.

I want to build up, not tear down. I want to share life, not neglect.

Sorry, the blog posts are all kinda dark recently. I have some fun pictures that I've been meaning to put up and I hope to do that sometime. Thanks so much for your comments and your support. I really do appreciate it.

1 comment:

astera said...

Yay for a long blog from you! I've been praying. (Not for Paga...though this blog will probably inspire some silly prayers for the tree too ;) Hoping for good news soon.