When I was a little girl, I remember wanting to help Mom water all of the plants.
(She has a green thumb. I do not.
She has beautiful houseplants. I kill them.
...not intentionally, mind you. It just happens.)
I would take the little watering pitcher and very carefully pour the water all over the leaves and flowers.
Mom would smile, watch me for a few seconds, and then say,
"You have to water it down on the soil."
"Why?" This didn't make any sense to me. The leaves were what I could see, they were what was growing, so they were what should be watered.
"So the water can reach the roots. That's what drinks it in and then sends it up to the leaves so they can grow and produce beautiful flowers. Then the roots stretch out farther and can soak up more water and produce even more flowers."
This was a total mystery to me! You water the ROOTS of the plant? But they're buried! I can't even see them!
It seems like the stuff that can be seen would need the water.
Mom explained that the leaves and flowers do need the water, but the only way to get it to them was to water the roots.
If you pour the water on the top part of the plant, the roots will only get what finds its way down to them, and the plant overall won't be as beautiful.
But, if you pour the water on the soil and let it all seep down to the roots, the plant will flourish.
It still didn't make sense to my little-girl mentality.
But, I watched Mom do it.
So I did it, too.
And, guess what?
The plants were lush and beautiful and produced lovely flowers.
The Gardenia was my favorite.
Day to day I'll look around me and realize so many of us still have that little-girl mentality.
We're watering what's visible, and the roots are only getting a small part of what's leftover.
We take care to speak well and say the right things and try our best to make everything that's visible look good,
but what's not visible only gets the leftovers.
Then we wonder why our lives aren't producing the flowers and lush greenery we so desperately are trying to produce.
In our little-girl mentality, we don't realize that we have to pour water straight into the soil so all of it can seep down to our roots, to our foundation.
Only then will the rest of us be able to flourish and produce the beauty we were created to produce.
And, the thing is, it doesn't quite make sense to us.
We think the stuff that can be seen should need the most care,
the most "water."
...our words, our actions, our appearance...
Or, we can instead choose to "water" the invisible...
And, guess what?
It will work.
I want to pour water straight into my soil so my roots can soak up as much as possible and stretch as far as possible and be as strong as possible.
I want to produce amazing beauty and an incredible aroma that will be bright and attractive to this world that spends so much time pouring water on the leaves and flowers...
and then wonders why it isn't producing what it so desperately is trying to produce.
What are you doing today to water your roots?
Or are you spending so much time pouring water on what's visible that your roots don't have anything to help them grow?