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Posts Tagged ‘garden’

secret gardenNever just enough for our western culture; we accumulate more and more, whether it is “just in case” or simply because we can. Slowly, movements are rising to counter this addictive behavior, but the change is slow. I am no stranger to largess and its grip on my choices, to my shame. But I’m getting better.

The Israelites did as they were told [by Moses]; some gathered much, some little. And when they measured it by the omer [2 quarts], the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Then Moses said to them, “No one is to keep any of it until morning.” However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. [Exodus 16:17b-20a, NIV]

I sometimes make fun of my “crunchy” friends [urban dictionary: used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons], but really, I admire their tenacity. More appropriately, it should be Christians and other believers who lead the crusade for saving our planet from abuse, living simply, and letting go of an “over-abundant” mentality. Throughout scripture, God is shown to meet the needs of the people, if only we would trust.

Slowly, not necessarily by election, but by the circumstances of my losses, I am faced with releasing the amassed detritus of my life. I must choose to sift and consider what is enough. Oh, I know all the cliches of downsizing and that sounds so healthy and smart until it’s “you” who is doing it, sooner than later. But I think I’ve been missing the real lesson here. I have been choosing what to “let go,” when I should be examining what is just enough.

God is about just enough.

Back in the early nineties, a revival of sorts stormed Toronto at their “Airport Vineyard” and among the many phenomenon that manifested during that time, the people would wave and bask in the “spirit” and call out for “more.” Of course, it was the “more of you Lord” that was driving those prayers, but I want to start something else: give me what I need and teach me to embrace and flourish within the hedges of God’s endowment. No more is needed.

It is the secret garden of God.

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house in groundI find the acquisition and/or practice of wisdom a great mystery. We are told throughout the Proverbs and elsewhere in scripture that we can ask for wisdom and it will be granted. In this way, it is a gift. And yet, clearly, wisdom is also wrapped up in experience and the ability to translate understanding into application.

Wisdom built her house; . . .
 “Come, eat my food,
    and drink the wine I have mixed.
Abandon your simplistic ways and live;

    walk in the way of understanding.” [Proverbs 9:1, 5-6, CEB]

gardenI have asked for wisdom but I confess, I don’t have the patience to wade through its giving. I am unwilling to accept that the process of gaining wisdom may be more similar to building a house or cultivating a garden. Both take time. And energy. And persistence. Both take the gifts of God (materials and weather) as well as the participation and knowledge of the builder.

Wisdom may be a gift but it is useless until it is unwrapped and used. And only in its use, does wisdom flourish.

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Two things: from the beginning, it was always God’s intention that humans should work. I never noticed it before, that “Adam” was put in the garden of Eden to tend it, his first real job. The last garden I tried to create showed me how much real work goes into sowing and growing. And secondly, “Adam” (or man … or human) was lonely without someone else of his kind (human) to do this work. That tells me that relationships are important to people. We do better together.

Genesis 2:15; 18a
The Lord God took the man [human] and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. . . The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man [human] to be alone. . .

Just like the Karate Kid, I’m guessing that Adam’s gardening gig held many unexpected byproducts of learning. Gardening teaches the cycle of life, patience, diligence, perceptiveness, creativity, consequences, and so forth. I know just enough about gardening to know how little I know. It’s one of those things I’ve always thought should have an apprentice program for those who really want to learn it. Oh, I suppose I could read a book about it, and over time, I’d learn by trial and error. But to have a master gardener next door who would be able to show and explain along the way, season by season, now that would be awesome.

The alternative, I suppose, would be to have a gardening buddy. Even if we were both novices, we would be tackling it together, discussing possibilities, sharing the workload, being encouraged, celebrating successes or mourning losses. In either case, two can learn, both from the experience as well as from one another.

The way of Christ is the same. Any spiritual way yields more fruit with a partner. I have neglected this aspect of walk for some time. I have tried to go it alone, thinking no one would be interested in cultivating what I wanted to cultivate. But maybe that’s the point, maybe it’s ok for me to want to plant perennials while another plants annuals. Or maybe I want to plant watermelons that spread out everywhere and my garden friend wants to plant potatoes deep in the earth. Isn’t the garden enhanced by both? As long as the dirt is good and nutrition filled, as long as there is water and sunlight, many different things can grow together.

I need to stop being a “spiritual snob.”

 

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