Friday, August 5, 2016

Not my Good

The day we moved into our house we left the boxes taped up and stacked in the living room and headed to the back yard to begin building our first garden. Within 24 hours we had raised beds constructed, a truckload of mulch, and seedlings planted in the ground. Having a vegetable garden has been a priority for us from the beginning. 

This summer, I have written no posts about our garden and it isn't because we opted out of having one. We could have done that. We had some pretty good reasons what with the arrival of our first child and the overwhelming project of renovating my grandparent's home three towns away. However, we still got out there and planted our summer veg.

This summer has been different, though. In the past, Joel or I would spend every night watering our 8 raised beds for about 20 mins. We would spend mornings collecting the fruits of the harvest, our chicken eggs, and doing some light weeding so that it doesn't get away from us. We would freeze the vegetables that would grow in abundance and eat them all year long. Every three weeks we would fertilize the soil with my father-in-law's magical concoction and use pest control to get a handle on vermin that might be destroying our squash or zucchini. 

This summer we have not done any of that. 

But in spite of the heat, my total negligence with watering, weeding, and harvesting, we still have vegetables to eat. 

I have hardly set foot in the garden outside of a monthly weeding and weekly harvesting. Occasionally we will water the plants, but we have left these beds to fair in the sultry Charlotte heat all on their own. And guess what...they live.

It hit me today that this garden is no longer MY garden and never really was in the first place. I have done precious little to keep it alive. I have not worked for the harvest that is still abundant. These vegetables have faired well by the grace of the Divine or however you would see it. 

It's been a good reminder that while I work hard to make things good, ultimately good things can come into existence without me. God makes good things. And these perfectly evolved plants are an example of it. 

Without me, they still grow and produce fruit, and feed me and our neighbors. When I am invested in the good thing that God is already doing in our garden then the harvest is even larger. Basically, it's been a metaphor for life on Earth. God is already doing good things and I can be a witness to it or I can contribute to it. Good will come either way. 

The more I am able to tap into the work of the Lord the richer and more abundant the harvest will be. But if I don't tap into it or I can't do it right now, it doesn't mean that the good fruit isn't growing. It is like the story of Feeding of the 5,000. There was food among the people, but Jesus created an overwhelming abundance when someone was moved to share.

I think about this a lot in life. Ultimately, as a believer, I think my call is to connect to what God is doing right now, in the moment. I want to be part of the good that is already being created around me. I also know that God doesn't need me to create good. The Divine creates good things all the time. My participation contributes to the abundance, the overflow of God's love among us. We get to choose to live in that overflow just like that boy chose to give Jesus the fish and bread that he had with him. 

This is a comforting thought during a season where I don't have lots of time to help people, to volunteer, to worship, to create. I don't need to worry that good things are not happening because I am not organizing them. I just need to focus on what good things are being grown around me become part of that harvest myself.

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