If I ever write a book containing my philosophy of life, I’ll probably title it something like, Things I’ve Learned in the Garden.
All sorts of life lessons are available there. In my garden, I notice seasons of growing and resting. I experience dependence upon things out of our control, like the weather. When I really pay attention, I can even find lessons about the purpose of weeds!
Have you ever noticed how much of a garden’s life takes place under the surface? I always attend to what happens above the ground — the tomatoes cracking from excess rain, the green peppers that keep producing, the winter squash starting to ripen, the watermelons that came on late but are growing rapidly. All those observable realities, however, point to a quality of life taking place underground. Root systems, worms, insects, and microscopic creatures all need to develop in healthy balance for the visible side of the garden to produce a healthy crop. It’s easy to take that for granted.
Our outward lives, as believers, are also quite dependent upon a lot that takes place “under the surface.” Nurturing a rich inner life by developing healthy patterns of prayer, study, meditation, and worship is crucial for our fruitfulness as disciples.
As the world seems to fill with increasing turbulence, it is easy to focus on our outer responses and to neglect our inner lives. This, however, may be precisely the time we need to cultivate new or renewed patterns of spirituality.
Rev. Tim Darmour-Paul