By: Dreama Lovitt, Music Associate & Organist
Before being gifted with my first orchid, I generally considered myself to be a ‘black thumb,’ a natural born plant killer. But my orchid glowed with health and happily blossomed again and again! It was remarkable and refreshing to find a plant that didn’t die in my presence. I was sure I’d turned an important corner in my relationship with growing things, until a professional gardener, amused by my glee, informed me with an ironic smile that ‘orchids love neglect.’
By the proper amount of neglect or care, I now have many happy orchids. The success with the orchids has led me to experiment with growing vegetables outside. I purchase rich, organic soil and pour it into raised beds, add some fertilizer, and try my best to follow the planting instructions on the seed packets. Then, with the proper light and daily watering a miracle occurs. Tiny sprouts begin to form! Soon lettuce, kale, carrots, radishes, and herbs are all ready for harvest.
So, what does a garden have to do with righteousness?
When we consider righteousness, we think of ethical and just behavior. Iniquity is the opposite: morally unsound and unjust behavior. Can we be moral and ethical without God? Perhaps. But maybe righteousness also holds a deep seed of humility, of acknowledging our humbleness and bowing to the Divine. And when we are humble, we realize that all our greatest efforts come from something bigger than ourselves. The soil makes the seed sprout. And isn’t soil a rather lowly thing? God makes us yearn for righteousness. And, in our humility, God guides us to it and praise!
My prayerful listening suggestion: Find and listen to the recording of Jim Erb’s arrangement of “Now Is the Cool of the Day” as performed by Impromptu in Richmond, VA, which can be found on youtube. Jim Erb was the Choral Director at the University of Richmond, VA, for many years, and was the founding conductor of the Richmond Symphony Chorale. He is most famous for his gorgeous choral setting of “Shenandoah.”
As you listen, consider and pray: How can we allow God to guide us to righteousness? What can we do to live out and exemplify God’s righteousness?
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