Gardens are places of hope, of work and of dreams. There are cycles of change and growth lived out among the plants. Yet, we are separated by too many generations to understand the reality of being dependent upon the garden for life. We have a back-up plan. We are very tied into taste and preference and know little of what it is to eat for subsistence. When the cantaloupe doesn't taste the way we like we drive off our property and go to the store and bring one back that does.
When crops fail, we go to the grocery store, and perhaps think about not having a garden next year, after all, we put money and time into it and it didn't produce the way we would like. It is new and unknown and frankly, we aren't very good at gardening. Our grandparents did not pass this information on, we live in Texas and it is hot this year and surely people in Texas only ate cows when grocery stores were harder to come by. We don't like work very much and are too used to convenience.
That is the troubling part, where convenience and ease have met up with the human need for struggle and growth. Butterflies never learn to fly if not allowed to fight their way out of their cocoon. We need the struggle. The steep learning curve should draw us into a deeper understanding of spiritual realities. But American Christianity knows little of fight, of standing against or for much of anything. Christianity here is easy, and that is what makes it hard.
In a society where we don't have to wait for anything, how do I encourage in my spirit the patience to wait upon the Lord? Long gone are the days where communication meant writing a letter and waiting weeks or months before you would think that maybe it got to where it was going. It took more weeks and months before you would even look for a response.
We can have it all. Sometimes we try. In the end we end up with not much of anything. We lose interest when you can't harvest peaches from the tree you planted that year. There is much too much waiting involved.
Yet there are other portions of life that will not be rushed. Babies walk when they walk, talk when they talk. Pregnancy cannot be rushed. Gardens cannot be rushed. Spiritual development cannot be rushed. It is a process, it takes time and happens gradually.
We need to learn in the school of waiting, especially now. We need to know what it is to be dependent upon God and not lean so much upon the grocery store. We need to learn to be patient.
Perhaps if we grow another garden next year we will learn a bit more about patiently waiting on the Lord. We are leaving our garden in a few short days. Next year, or perhaps in a few short weeks if we get some land we will start again. The learning curve will still be steep, I am sure. Yet, I am beginning to think it necessary. For ease is not conducive to growth.