One of the joys for me over the last couple of months has been watching the garden grow. What started as just a few little plants has blossomed into a beautiful garden that has already produced several dishes on a hot summer-like afternoon. There is something unique and special about being able to cut up a vegetable that you planted and then watched grow. I can’t quite describe the feeling of eating from my own garden – it is as if I was a partner with God in the growth of this crop. I planted and watered – he took care of the rest. It gives a new perspective on creation and the importance of being a good steward of the world God has given us.
Today, I had the opportunity for my morning visit and tending of the garden (something I really look forward to as the sun comes up). Some of the garden is beginning to show signs of fatigue…we have been fighting pests that want to eat the collards and cabbage…and now the squash leaves are being attacked. It is still a joy to tend the garden, but a little disheartening to see the slow destruction by little enemies I do not even see. They eat away at the beauty of the garden when I don’t even know they are there. Don’t get me wrong…I am grateful for the crop I have already been able to get from the garden. I am grateful for the okra that are starting to appear, the tomatoes that are green but show delicious potential. The zucchini continue to come along slowly with their massive overwhelming leaves. It is not that I have missed the joy and the beauty. It is more that I am amazed at the things that eat away at the creation that aren’t even seen. Often they are there before you know it and you spend the rest of your time trying to combat what you didn’t even know was there in the first place.
Isn’t that often what happens to us? We are going along great…feeling joyful…enjoying life. We are being productive, feeling good about our small but significant contribution to the world. But if we are not careful…if we are not alert…if we are not paying attention…little things can be destroying us and we not recognize it. For me, I am most alert to this when I am still and silent. I am most aware of those little things that are going on when I am listening…when I stop the hectic pace of the day. I am awakened to my disease when I read God’s Word. I realize that I have a life that is wonderful and I am grateful. I have a life that needs to be tended to and watched carefully so that I can grow and develop into what God has created. I have to be aware that there is an enemy that wants to destroy but I have a God that is bigger than the enemy. If I want to flourish and produce and be all that I am created, I have to be aware of the things that may be trying to take me away from my purpose. What may be distracting you today? What is it that may be eating away at you this morning that you haven’t considered?