Why Do I Bother?

Why do I bother? Every year I ask the same question. Every year I do it anyway.

Every year I plant a garden because I love to see things grow, And I hope to have fresh vegetables to eat and some to freeze for later.

In the early spring, my husband plows up the garden plot with our old tiller, now on its last legs. This year it coughed and sputtered and smoked – we expected it to explode. He did succeed in finishing the plowing. And I smoothed out the soil with my hoe and rake, then I put in the seeds. And waited…and waited…and waited. Between the rain and the cold it took forever for the seeds to sprout, but not the weeds. If I could eat, or freeze, or sell the weeds, I’d be rich!

The seeds finally sprouted and grew, I tried to keep the weeds at bay, and I waited. When I became busy with summer–the vacations, trying to stay on top of the grandchildrens’ birthdays, church activities, and writing,–the weeds got ahead of me and the produce seemed to be ready at my busiest times. I shouldn’t be surprised. It happens every year.

My flower beds faired better than the vegetable garden. I have enjoyed many beautiful blooms in brilliant colors.

I harvested the remainder of the vegetables this morning–a few pounds of potatoes, several green tomatoes, a cucumber, some celery. I could have harvested a nice crop of weeds as well. They’ll go out with the rest of the lawn and garden debris.

Gardening is in my blood. My grandfather, born and raised in England, was
a gardener. His garden, with the little garden shed, always reminded me of Mr. MacGregor’s garden in Beatrix Potter’s books. My father had a large garden to help sustain his large family. Canning and freezing vegetables took up a lot of my mother’s time. And a love of flowers runs in the family as well. I suppose, in a way, I want to keep a family tradition.

When I look at my garden, I am reminded of the weeds that grow in my life. Anger, confusion, and frustration take over when I neglect God’s Word and prayer, allowing the weeds of sin to take over my heart and mind. Jesus tells Christians to abide in Him and His Word, to be instant in prayer, and to confess sin and be cleansed. Busyness, kitchen work, becomes a substitute
for sitting at Jesus’ feet in the living room (check out Luke 11:38-42). Learning and applying God’s truth nips those weeds of sin in the bud and allows the fruit of the Spirit to grow.

I’ll probably plant a garden next spring. I like to see things grow. And I’ll have another war with the weeds. And with faithful cultivation, and the Father’s provision of sun and rain, I’ll have a bountiful harvest.

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