This year, for the first time ever, I started a garden. One of the plants I have is a butternut squash and
this plant has literally taken over my garden. It started in the middle, stretched to the corners, and then wrapped all the way around the edges. The point came that it started to block out the sun from some of my smaller plants and I had to cut it back. Armed with a pair of scissors, I chopped off a few of the leaves and took out the smaller vines. Then, because I had to go to work, I dropped the vines in the back of the garden, where I figured that if I never got to them, at least they were out of the way and could turn to compost.
It has been a few days now that those vines have laid there. In that time, I have started the school semester, worked at my job, and begun a second. And so those vines had stayed there until tonight, when God taught me how should truly live the last year of my life.
These cut away vines are shriveled and brown. The leaves have wilted and begun to curl in on themselves. Over every inch, these vines are dead. Except in one place.
Each of these vines has two or three flower buds. Small things when I cut them, these buds have grown even as the rest of the plant has died. They had stretched up on their long stems, turning their faces to the sky. Tonight, one bloomed, and the rest are not far behind.
Looking at those vines, I saw that in their last moments, these vines and not given up on growth, but had rallied to do all they had been created for. The vines to give their lives to the flowers and the flowers to give life to the next generation.
While my first inclination would be to curl up, to shut out all responsibility and do only what I wanted in my last year of life, it would also be the wrong answer.
If I have one year to live, I will spend it has God has called me to all the other years of life. I will learn what he has for me, do what he has for me, and meet those he has for me. I will not live for selfish gain, but to support those still living and give my life for the next birth of Christians. Because, in the end, that is the best way to die.
Parvin Blackwater believes she has wasted her life. At only seventeen, she has one year left according to the Clock by her bedside. In a last-ditch effort to make a difference, she tries to rescue Radicals from the government’s crooked justice system.
But when the authorities find out about her illegal activity, they cast her through the Wall —— her people’s death sentence. What she finds on the other side about the world, about eternity, and about herself changes Parvin forever and might just save her people. But her Clock is running out.
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