Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Master Gardening 101

I have never had a green thumb. It's just a fact. I love green plants, flowers, and gardens, but they don't love me. I do have a knack at killing things, however. I over water...I under water...I don't like weeding...I plant too deep...They get too much sun....or too little sun....sometimes I think they just look at me and shrivel up and die to spite me. Last week, I forgot and left one of my house plants outside and the frost killed it. It takes patience to start a little seed, baby it, nurture it, and raise it up into a fine, healthy plant that produces fruit. Physically, I just don't seem to have that gift of knowing what it takes to be a master gardener.
Recently, however, I have been asking myself whether or not I have a "spiritual" green thumb. Can I plant, nurture, and harvest spiritual fruit? Am I patient enough to plant spiritual seeds? Determined enough to pull the weeds out of my own life and the lives of others to produce the spiritual yield necessary? Do I water the dry, parched souls with life giving water? Do I plant spiritual seeds that will take root and grow into strong, healthy plants capable of bearing an abundance of fruit?
I am amazed, when I watch the Master Gardener, Jesus, at work. He take even the tiniest seed and produces abundant foliage and growth in our lives. He takes the most wilted, barren, and nearly dead hearts and like magic, right before your eyes, produces a bouquet of blooms and blossoms that you never imagined could be replicated. He surprises you with beauty and abundance.
Developing into a spiritual gardener does not happen over night. It takes time, it takes the right tools, and it takes training and mentoring from the Master Gardener. You must plant what you want to harvest. You must never plant a seed expecting to harvest a fruit other than what you planted. Seeds produce after their own kind. A seed of forgiveness will harvest forgiveness. A seed of love will harvest love. You must discern the right planting times. You must familiarize yourself with the tools of the trade. You must be patient, for it takes time for the seed to sprout, and the sprout to grow and the bloom to set on, then the blossom to open, and finally the fruit to mature. But in due season, you will reap what was sown.
As we go throughout life on this amazing planet, we need to look at people as opportunities for us to practice are spiritual gardening skills. Maybe the garden hasn't been prepared or plowed. Maybe the weeds are choking out the little bit of green growth that is sprouting, maybe they just need watered or introduced to the Son. And maybe, just maybe if you're timing is right, you'll get the experience of harvesting some of the fruit others have planted and nurtured ahead of you. Then stand back and be amazed....you will see that it is quite possible that YOU do have a "spiritual" green thumb.

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