Saturday, May 12, 2012

Back in the Garden Again

I am so much enjoying gardening again this year. We did not start one last year and we really missed out in so many ways. Certainly we started late, but at least we have the joy of the spiritual exercise of gardening.

Yes, gardening is a spiritual exercise for me. When I first started, it was solely for the pleasure of waiting impatiently for weeks and months for something to eat--if the bugs did not get it first. My first garden I had little tools. I had a hand-tiller, a hoe, a shovel and a garden hose. A hand tiller is a short-handled device, much like a rock-pick, only instead of a spike on one end, there are three long thick tines. The other end is equipped with a long, thick blade. The device is used for breaking up the ground. Once I got started on my patch that year, I had a much deeper appreciation for all those who blazed the gardening trail before us.  Then one year I read Pearl S. Buck‘s “The Good Earth” and felt I could sincerely understand each time she wrote of hoeing the row. That was a great read.

As my garden began, I instantly understood so many spiritual principles that I heard since Sunday School: Vines, branches, water, fruit, four soils, seeds, birds, thorns, weeds, wheat, tares, etc.  I understood without having them explained. I began to understand the plow of the law, breaking up the hard ground of the earth, preparing the soil to receive the seed. I walked alongside the sower as I pushed and covered my seed in the dirt, being overly cautious about what and where I was planting. I turned the tap of the Spirit under the light of the Son, watering my seed and prayed my fruit to produce faster.

The plants are pushing their way up through the soil as I nurse out overlooked rocks. As morning breaks, I am generally there to greet the dawn, inspecting every plant for signs of needing water. I keep my eyes focused close to the dirt, looking for the first signs of weeds that will suck the life-giving nutrients away from my plants. My hoe scrapes away the invaders (or I will have to pull them later). I watch for invading bugs, sprayer handy. My rake is nearby, used to thin and cultivate.

Gardening distracts me from the things of the world. Gardening keeps me bent over, bowed down in reliance on my Creator.

Yes, gardening is spiritual exercise to me.

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