Monday, March 23, 2009

The Extra Effort – Lawrence

What happens when we give that little extra effort to our regular job? What happens when we give out that 110% we hear people speak about sometimes? What happens when we go beyond the call of duty?
One hears, from time to time, whether on the TV news or in the local newspaper, of someone who did just that. The reason it gets noted in the news is that people are surprised by it; surprised that someone makes that extra effort to help another person rather than walking away in case one might get hurt or involved in another’s business. (Sounds a little like the parable that Jesus told of the Good Samaritan, doesn’t it? Luke 10: 33.)

I have seen this extra effort even in nature. In fact, I have seen it this month in one of my indoor plants, which is what made me think about this concept of doing more than is expected of us and the joy that it brings to others. Yes, to answer my earlier question, that is what happens when we do more than is expected of us—it brings joy and happiness to those around us; it gives a lift to the spirits of others.

Now, to my plant story—a few years ago, I knocked a Christmas cactus plant on the floor. It actually survived the ordeal quite well apart from losing some of its earth out of the pot, which I replaced, and breaking off a couple of its leaves. I decided to plant the two leaves into some earth in a small pot and hoped that they would put down some roots. I had to take it on faith that the leaves would produce roots because they were hidden from me, but I knew that they had done so when, after several months, new growth began to sprout out of the tops of the leaves.
Eventually, I put the young plants into a larger pot and, when several years later they grew too big even for this pot, I provided a large pot for each of them.

We call these plants Christmas cacti though, in actual fact, the ones that I have bloom in October. They have beautiful pink blossoms, which grow out of the tops of their leaves. In 2008, all three of these plants bloomed well and were covered all over with healthy pink blossoms for about a month from first sprouting to their final withering and dropping to the floor.

Earlier this month, March 2009, I noticed that one of the plants was producing a bud. It’s true that sometimes they do put out little pink protrusions other than at their normal October blooming time but these usually shrivel up and come to nothing. This bud, of which I am speaking, was definitely showing signs of developing into a mature flower; it was putting forth an extra effort.

It is now almost three weeks until Easter and this one flower on this one leaf of this one Christmas cactus is showing forth, in parable, the glory of Christ’s resurrection.
I pray that all we who are Christians may make the effort to do the same—shouting out our own hallelujahs in our own joyful song.

Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! Isaiah 35: 1 & 2, New Living Translation.

© Judith Lawrence
Read and listen to Judith’s monthly meditation on her website at

1 comment:

Peter Black said...

Hello Judith,
Lovely story, and a wonderful and timely analogy to the Easter Event of the resurrection of our Lord.

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