"An Inside Perspective"

August 2011


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
We are in the height of the growing season and the Greenhouse grounds, by the grace of God, are flourishing. I have thus developed a habit of watering said grounds every other day in accordance with whatever summer showers we may get.

The first thing that I do when I get to work after the tool-crib is opened is set up the hoses. We have four fifty-foot hoses that when put together reach all the grounds. I then methodically work my way around all of the flower-beds and grassy areas. I take my time and make sure that everything is watered evenly. The whole job from beginning to end takes me about an hour and a half.

On an aside, we have two twenty-five foot poles in front of the Greenhouse that support steam pipes that run throughout the prison. About twenty feet up on each one there is a hook. In the spring, I decided to press the envelope in regard to the things we are permitted to do. As such, I picked out two large spider plants from inside the Greenhouse and, turning a large garbage can upside down, I stood on it and hung the spiders from the hooks. We jokingly call it “manifest destiny” as inch by inch, we are always conquering more areas for “The Greenhouse.”

The plants looked good there and no one in authority challenged me in regard to them, so from here on out, they will be there every season. We have planted our flag, as it were, and that is now “our” area.

What happened though was that while I was watering, I constantly forgot to water the spiders. The reason was that they were twenty feet up and not in my “line of sight.” To see them I had to consciously “look up.” Yes, day after day, even week after week, I would put all the hoses away, walk back inside the Greenhouse, only to realize I had not watered the spiders. To my dismay, I would then have to get the hoses back out and water them. I had to do double work because I had forgotten to “look up.”

You would be surprised how long it took me to train myself to “look up.” As is my wont, I chose to observe myself in the whole process. I learned that I was so focused and distracted by all that was going on around me, even everything in my “line of sight,” that I just never “looked up.” Finally, I purposely trained myself to “look up” and was able to then “rest in my work” because now it was my daily habit.

It is written, “If then you be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things of this earth. For you are dead and your life is hid with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:1-3)

We are reminded, yes commanded by the Word, to “look up.” It is to be an attitude of heart by faith. To live a victorious, Spirit-filled, God-glorifying life, we must purposely train ourselves to “look up” by faith. We are then enabled by the Holy Spirit to take our rightful position in Christ and to “look up” by faith to who the Lord is today, on our behalf, in all His interceding glory. Only then can we rest in our work.

Again, I was totally astonished at how long it took me in the natural to develop the habit of looking up. It took a real focused effort because, during the course of that hour and a half of chores, I was continuously assaulted by the day’s natural developments.

Precious one, we cannot “grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ” until we have purposely trained ourselves to “look up.” We must willingly look away from that which is in our “line of sight” and “look up” into the face of our glorified Savior. Beloved, the Lord is not a babe in a feeding trough anymore! He is not still hanging on a blood-stained cross! He is glorified forever! Hallelujah! He is now Ministering Monarch “in the power of an endless life!”

It is written, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith...” (Heb. 12:2a)

Beloved, have you purposely trained yourself to “look up” and so also, away from the things in your everyday “line of sight?” It’s not that you don’t have to do your daily chores; you do. But have you really trained yourself to “look up” during them? Beloved, don’t do double work, but be encouraged; you can focus and develop this daily habit. Once you do, watch how wonderfully you will then grow in grace and learn to “rest in your work.” I wonder. . .