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Ever since I had a Fitbit I have had difficulty standing still. Why waste the opportunity to accumulate more steps and hasten the achievement of the 10,000 step daily target? Being constantly on the move can be perceived as annoying by those sitting still, such as my wife while she is sitting quietly pondering the cryptic clues to a crossword.

Standing very still in the garden of the holiday cottage I stayed in last week is a garden roller. I have a roller in my garden. Mine has a broken handle and needs to be repaired. The holiday cottage roller has stood still for so long that it has become overgrown with ivy. This could be the garden roller version of the three-toed sloth that apparently moves so slowly that algae grows in its fur.

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A garden roller might not get used many times a year in a typical garden, but it is meant to be used, and it was designed for a specific purpose – just like followers of Jesus. It is not part of God’s design for us to remain static in our faith, barely moving. A garden roller that is covered in ivy is no more use than a Christian whose preference is standing still. But why would we? Because it is easy perhaps? Can we claim the benefits of salvation through Jesus but not actively serve Him by growing in our faith, serving in our church and in our communities, and sharing our faith?

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Something else I discovered in the holiday cottage garden was a fern growing high above the lawn. I was amazed that the fern had survived a recent mowing, and that it was so quickly standing tall (and still) above the grass. My friend Jerry who knows about things that grow told me that the fern survives because it has deep roots. That seems to fit with the standing still analogy. In summary: God wants us to put down deep roots and continue to grow in Him regardless of setbacks along the way (being cut down by a mower once a week is a pretty big setback for a fern). It is not good enough to stand still – it is not part of God’s purpose for our lives, and there is no excuse for failing to ensure that we get spiritual exercise. Perhaps a Spiritual Fitbit would help?

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:6-7 NLT)

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