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.


andy said...

I don't know that I've ever heard it put in such an eloquent Great post! (by the way, I'm Carissa (Baker) Boyd's husband...)

Haley Ballast said...

thanks andy, cool to 'meet' you... hope it get to actually meet you in person in a couple weeks!