I walked into my garden today. It’s like my own little world, with its paths and its walls of green. Looking at the sheer volume of work that needed to be done could very well overwhelm anyone, and often threatens to do just that. But I have learned something about my garden. If I resist the urge to look at the garden as a whole, and avoid the temptation to think I have to pull every.single.weed… right NOW, I can enjoy my time in my little world. Instead of thinking of the garden as a one-time project that has to be finished all at once, I see it as a series of jobs. Today the tomatoes, tomorrow the beans and peas, later in the week the potatoes, cucumbers, peppers and squash. As I was pulling each tiny blade of grass from around my beans today it occurred to me that caring for my garden is a lot like being a disciple of Jesus. Just like every weed I pull from the earth to give my plants the best shot at being fruitful… every time I give something up to GOD it gives me a better shot at being fruitful.
I worked on weeding my tomatoes first, getting two rows cleaned up and looking nice, then I moved on to the beans and peas. As I was sitting there I turned and pulled a particularly large weed from the row behind me. I started to scold myself for not staying on task, but then I realized that even thought I wasn’t sticking to one row I was still working on something. And as long as I was working on something I would still be making progress. It made me think of the way my faith has grown in the last few years. It seems that I am always working on something. Whether it’s gaining the confidence to speak in church about my faith, or finding the courage and words to pray out loud, or whether it’s learning to be still and listen to His call on my life… there has been so much to work on. And there is more yet to do. It’s like my garden. Every day I look at it and see the changes. There are weeds here that weren’t here yesterday, those plants are bigger than they were. This plant has more flowers than that one, and this one here is suffering from some plant disease. Every day I look at my life and see the changes there too. Where I used to be a quiet presence in the pew every week, now I am taking a more active role in my church life. I am serving Him through serving my church… and it has made my faith so much more real.