Thursday, July 14, 2005

Gardening

I had a first-stage telephone interview this morning, and then spent a fair amount of time working in my gardens. I moved some large cilantro, and growing genovese basil from a large pot to a bed, and then planted more basil seed. I have over 20 tomato plants growing, and some already producing fruit, so I need lots of fresh basil to make sauce...

What was I thinking??? How could any two people use so many tomatoes?! Don't get me wrong, I'll be giving them away -- I'll have to sneak onto porches in the middle of the night and leave them with a little note "courtesy of your local UMC... please come visit us, and please, PLEASE, DO NOT TRY TO RETURN THESE VEGETABLES! Perhaps even worse, I planted summer squash and zucchini... What was I thinking?!

Despite the apparent hardships associated with the work, gardening (especially growing vegetables) is a truly wonderful thing. Not only does digging in the dirt fulfill long-abandoned childhood desires to get dirty, but if viewed carefully, gardening teaches important lessons about living the Christian life.

Jesus talked about farm-labor pretty often (sometimes in ways modern westerners miss because we live so far from the land), and not just (I believe) because many, if not the vast majority of his listeners worked the soil. I'm convinced that tending a garden, and doing it well, reqires discipline and hard work that can help us hone the skills we need to be effective disciples. Just as weeds, slugs, grubs and other pests get into our gardens, so sin gets into our lives. If we neglect our gardens, they will be overrun with weeds, which will choke our productive plants, and they will bear little or no fruit. However, if we attend to our gardens dilligently, weeding and fertilizing them regularly, they will grow and produce copious fruit (oh, the zucchini, summer squash and tomatoes!). The same is true of Christian discipleship -- if we are lax about our spiritual disciplines, pray rarely, read scripture inconsistently, and neglect the renewing fellowship of the Body of Christ in worship, work and sacrament, then sin will grow into our lives, attack the core of our being, and we will produce little or no fruit -- but if we tend to our spiritual gardens, oh what glorious growth for Christ's Kingdom!

Anyone want some tomatoes? basil?? summer squash???

1 comment:

iRob said...

I'm envious of your garden. I'm in an apartment so I don't have a lot of opportunity to grow any good vegetables.

I have threatened however to attempt to grow a watermelon inside. They say it can't be done, but I'm an optimist.