Why Do I Bother?

greenthumbThis year I have been growing tomatoes from seed. What this means is that I am experimenting with going from placing a tiny seed in the dirt all the way to pulling a red, ripe tomato off the vine at just the right time. Simple enough, right?  At least, that’s what I thought.

Turns out there’s a good bit of time and patience that goes into making tomatoes. And sunshine and rain. And luck and a lack of bugs.

I’m not sure why, but I love working on something while it grows. The act of placing seeds, then eventually plants, into dirt and watering them daily helps me to feel peaceful.  Searching for any new tomatoes as they start to grow always excites me, way more than even the act of finally picking the fruit and enjoying it. Over time I have noticed that there seems to be many spiritual truths in gardening:

Only with time and daily attention does real growth occur.

Plants wedged deep into the earth with layers of dirt to protect their roots produce more than those planted in shallow soil.

It is important to cut away dead areas because the plant will send all its resources to the weakest place in an effort to keep it going, and sometimes this pruning can mean cutting out something that still appears to be beautiful and life-giving.

No matter how well I water them, all my plants seem to do better when God sends a good soaking from the sky.

Practical application? For me, these guys remind me that I need to spend time in God’s word daily to experience real growth and depth, which is important when the winds come. I need to be noticing how I spend my time, and cut out anything that is not leading to growth in me or in others, and I should always be grateful for the good gifts that God gives me, so much better than what I can provide for myself.

Happy gardening to you all!

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