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Garden of Clay
Faith, insight, christian growth.
Summer heat alone doesn't pose near the challenge to my energy level as heat in combination with humidity. On days like today when taking a deep breath means bench-pressing 100, gardening loses any sense of relaxation and becomes chore-like in appearance and feeling. Yet even in favorable weather conditions when the soil you are tilling is more clay than soil-like, the challenge takes on new meaning.
This previous Memorial Day, in attempting to transform my flower-beds into something of beauty, it was necessary to first remove every weed,, root and all. But did you ever notice how hard it is to grab hold of a weed and pull, hoping to remove it in its entirety? For expediency's sake, I've tried, and failed. I have since learned the value of thorough and now I take the time to remove the sometimes huge lump of thin, spaghetti-like strands, shake loose the soil and discard the weed. The end result is that I now have what I wanted all along: something of beauty.
I am no expert gardener by any means.but from my limited and human perspective it seems the hardness in my own heart has, at least at times, reflected the clay-like qualities in my flowerbed: unyielding, dry and stubborn. For quite some time, despite my best efforts, I have been able to cutlivate only weeds, not flowers. Does the exterior reflect the interior?
I think this is true in each of our lives. The soil in our hearts is tilled, weeds are pulled and removed, new seeds are planted and watered and the process is repeated. The work is hard and tedious. It is never rushed; and the results don't appear overnight, or even in a season!
Such tilling is painful. The process hurts, especially if our weeds have grown for so long that they're part of us. The wonderful thing is, however, that despite the pain and discomfort, such tilling is not performed carelessly or with malice but with love and mercy. Gardening, especially when performed by the Master Gardener, is always a long process, but the results are always lovely and perfect.
What does it take to cultivate a beautiful garden? Probably some of the same things it takes to grow a beautiful heart. A good place to start is with good soil; and that, my friend, at least in matters of the heart, is our choice.