Why did I ever think I could become a gardener?
We worked so hard at creating a beautiful garden in our front yard. Partly because we really wanted to enjoy that visual experience; partly because our local HOA was not happy with our messy yard.
Gardening isn’t a one-and-done experience. It requires work, weeding, watering, nurturing.
Even with all that, there is no guarantee the plants will grow.
Our best efforts haven’t saved some of our plants. More plants than I want to admit. There appears to be some kind of plant disease on a few of them. Others are merely withering for no apparent reason. Some are thriving, but I don’t see them as easily as the ones that are struggling.
We’ve tried to figure out what the issues are. One plant sits at exactly the right place where water doesn’t reach it as easily or consistently as the others. Neither does it have the same amount of sun as some of the others.
Some of these plants have an issue with our soil. It’s sandy, and there is some hardpack a little deeper down that may keep the plants from getting the nourishment they need. We tried to chop that up; it needed more work than we gave it.
Growth takes time and intent.
In plants and in people.
Lately, the soil of people all around the country has been hardpacked by an unwillingness to listen to opposing views, to take the time to have conversations with those we disagree with, and the cancel culture sentiment of dismissiveness if we’re not in total agreement with one another. That hardpack needs to be dug into, to aerate the soil of dialogue so growth can happen with everyone.
We’re not a one-plant culture. We are a garden of different plants and flowers, all of which add beauty and substance to the greater picture of who we are as a nation. We become obsessive about plants and animals that may become extinct, yet we are trying to create an extinction mentality when we don’t value everyone.
Jesus used gardens to express how growth can happen among people. When a gardener plants seed on hard ground, the roots never have the chance to take, and the plant quickly dies. Seeds planted on the ground full of weeds soon find themselves choked out by the weeds. Seeds scattered haphazardly on pathways are often eaten by birds and never have a chance to take root. The plants intentionally planted in good soil will thrive. To grow the best way possible, we need to have the soil of our souls ready to listen, to consider, and to grow in truth.
The alternative shows up in stunted plants who lose their beauty, plants that don’t produce what they’re intended to produce, and a haphazard garden that is more of an embarrassment than a place whose allure is in its diverse plant life.
God is the Master Gardener who has given beauty to every person He has created. We have no right to judge the value of another; our challenge is to appreciate our differences and work to allow the whole garden to thrive.
He challenges us to dig a little deeper, to find our common identity in Him
The result is sheer beauty where everyone thrives.