Excerpt from Gardens of the Heart - available at Amazon.
I walked by the field of a lazy person, the vineyard of one with no common sense. I saw that it was overgrown with nettles. It was covered with weeds, and its walls were broken down. Then, as I looked and thought about it, I learned this lesson: A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest— then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber. Proverbs 24:30-34 NLT
The lawns of the old Georgian-style house swept down to a fieldstone wall by a quiet country road. Brilliant pink rhododendrons banked the foundation of the house. A formal English garden with an elaborate bird bath graced one side of the lawn. Sounds beautiful, right? It was, at one time. The gardens were sadly overgrown with weeds, the once lovely brick paths almost erased by encroaching grasses. The rhododendrons were lanky and unhealthy from neglect. The stone was crumbling, leaving gaps in the wall that surrounded the property. Somewhere along the way, the owner of the property began to give up on maintaining the beauty that had taken so much work to establish. Although there were still glimpses of faded glory, most of it was gone.
Solomon observed the same thing in the vineyard of the lazy person. By neglecting the work in maintaining the vineyard, the person had lost income from the crop. He was also on a path to poverty by ignoring the stewardship of the vineyard and most likely other areas of his life.
God expects us to be good stewards of the earthly things we've been given – homes, jobs, possessions, money. If we begin neglecting one area, it won’t be long before we think other areas require too much effort to maintain, and before long, resources become rundown or lost. We aren't to worship or put these things in place of God, but we do need to recognize them as gifts from our Father. We need to show our appreciation to Him and do our part to maintain, improve, and increase what we've been given. It requires time, effort, and perseverance. Sometimes we need help in managing the blessings. Has your life been overtaken by weeds? Are your finances in a mess? Is the lawn unmowed? Are dishes piled in the sink? Are you overburdened with activity that keeps you from being a good steward of your blessings? Begin today to show your appreciation to your generous Father by caring for all that He’s given you.