They begin arriving at the same time every year – crispy new, chock full of colorful photographs and spilling over with new ideas – the seed catalogs, booklets containing exciting hope-filled glimpses of the future.
Gardening blossomed as a hobby for me the last few years. I am far from being an expert, but I do like to experiment with new plants. One of the best parts is the middle of the cold winter planning – what seeds to consider, new ways to cultivate and nourish the soil and how best to nurture what is already planted to it fullest bloom.
Much like spiritual growth.
This is a very special week – the end and beginning of a year and actually the end and beginning of a decade. I take time this week to put my hopes and dreams for 2010 down on paper. Where do I want to be at the end of the year as a writer, a speaker, a spiritual director, and a retreat leader? More importantly where is God leading me spiritually?
Same as the gardening plans: What seeds is God inviting me to consider to plant this year?
Where does He want me to dig deeper in cultivating my soul?
How will He lead me in nurturing what is already started into fuller bloom?
Is there something within me to dig up and cast off?
What is there that hasn’t bloomed yet?
What plants well established need to be thinned out?
This is the time to nourish my roots, to dig deeper into prayer and the Word of God to develop a healthy foundation.
God is a gardener. One of the first acts he did after creation is to plant a garden.
In Luke’s Gospel (13:6-9) Jesus told the following parable,
“A man planted a fig tree in his garden and came again and again to see if there was any fruit on it, but he was always disappointed. Finally, he said to his gardener, ‘I’ve waited three years, and there hasn’t been a single fig! Cut it down. It’s taking up space we can use for something else.’ “The gardener answered, ‘Give it one more chance. Leave it another year, and I’ll give it special attention and plenty of fertilizer. If we get figs next year, fine. If not, you can cut it down.’”
Jesus portrays God as a patient gardener, giving each plant what it needs to thrive.
Many settings in Jesus’ life occurs in gardens.
God loves gardening and I believe he loves to plant, cultivate, and nurture our souls into beautiful landscapes reflecting his love. God takes out his seed catalog this time of year and smiles upon our waiting hearts.
“ I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. “ John 15:1
“…but only God , who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:5
“You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11b
May I be open to what God’s hands plant within me.