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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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