Thursday, May 29, 2008
How Does Your Garden Grow?
I have attempted to plant a vegetable garden. Last year I killed no less than 5 houseplants, so I don't have high hopes. But I just can't get this romantic scenario out of my head where I traipse out to the garden each afternoon to pick what we need for dinner, stopping a minute to milk the cow and grab a few eggs from the chicken coop. Ok we don't have a cow or chickens, but there's something so lovely about 'living off the land' right? Plus I am going broke trying to buy organic food, so I figure growing my own might be cheaper.
Farming fantasies aside, I am learning a lot in my garden. First of all, I am acquiring a healthy hatred/respect for weeds. It is crazy to me that some plants have to be tediously tended and might die from the slightest imbalance of pH in the soil, while a weed will thrive and spawn thousands of offspring even if (or perhaps especially if) you ignore it.
As I spent time last weekend clearing some space for my tomatoes, I noticed something about weeds: the bigger roots are easier to pull out than the small ones. I mulled this over as I squatted in the dirt. I pictured God as a gardener in my life, tending to the good things He is growing in me, pruning and weeding. I thought about times in my life when God has pulled up some monstrous roots - big, ugly, obvious sins that were crowding out the faith, hope and love He had planted. Then I thought about all the little pesky roots... the ones that aren't as easy to pull because they aren't as obvious, but they still cause harm in the garden. A line from a Derek Webb song came to mind, "I repent...for the way I believe that I'm living right, by trading sins for others that are easier to hide."
God is working on my heart, just as I am working in my garden. He is pruning and weeding and preparing to plant, tend, and harvest. But He is a gentle gardener who chooses to only work on us when we give Him permission. I am free to live in the midst of weeds and thorns if I wish. But today I will try to live in submission, asking him in, allowing him to do as he pleases with me, whether it be painfully pulling up roots or joyfully harvesting a good crop.