It’s just a rectangular brown patch plunked down in the middle of a green expanse but amazing things happen there every summer.
I’m writing about my husband’s garden in our back yard. I view it from the window over my kitchen sink, from our breakfast nook windows and when I’m enjoying the sunshine on our deck.
In late autumn and throughout the winter season, the garden plot reminds me of an open wound – like when the skin on your knee has been painfully scraped off by a fall. It’s bare and raw-looking and not pleasant to look at. Even in early spring, that patch of ground looks forlorn and forgotten while the rest of the lawn bursts forth in brilliantly lush green color. For several months, the garden is just a plot of barren dirt.
But then something miraculous happens. Hubby’s friend brings his tractor to our country home and tills up the soil in that woe begotten area of the yard. And suddenly, the garden awakens from its slumber. Freshly tilled and turned over fertile ground beckons to hubby, “Come! It’s time! Let’s get started!”
This spring the rain has lasted and lasted. Our garden patiently waits for the gardener, but there haven’t been enough sunshiny dry days yet for sowing seeds and planting young seedlings which will eventually yield delightful crops of vegetables. In between bouts of rainstorms, hubby did manage to plant a few rows of leaf lettuce, spinach and peas but the largest part of the garden remains unsown.
I enjoy watching my husband (that city boy turned country gardener/landscaper) prepare his garden. He wields his hoe to remove any weeds, marks rows with string, digs straight furrows into the dirt, and then carefully places tiny seeds and plants into the ground.
This year he plans the usual: cherry tomatoes, green beans, carrots, radishes, green peppers, Brussels sprouts, banana peppers and cucumbers. Every year, he introduces something new – last year it was sweet potatoes, this year watermelon.
Creating a vegetable masterpiece with his own hands bestows a great sense of accomplishment upon my husband. He loves to get his hands dirty and see the results of his work – and of course – eat the delicious rewards! If a particular type of plant fails to flourish, hubby doesn’t get discouraged; he just moves on and tries something different.
So his garden is a work in progress. Watching him as he creates straight furrows in our garden plot reminds me of scripture. “…No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” ~ Luke 9:62
There’s a good lesson for life. Do we plow straight furrows as we forge ahead in life? Or do we allow obstacles or distractions to lead us astray and make our paths crooked? Do we look forward or continually glance back over our shoulders at our past mistakes and dwell on them so we can’t make our way straight?
As the farmer plows his fields, he keeps his eyes focused ahead of him not behind. And that’s also how my husband plants his garden in straight rows looking forward at what’s to come instead of what’s been before.
I think that’s what I need to do today in Chapter 5, Page 21, in my book of Opportunity. I need to fix my eyes forward and keep them centered on my Savior, forgetting the past, leaving issues behind.
The Master Gardener provides His garden of grace for me and He asks me to keep my eyes on Him, concentrate on what He calls me to do to further His kingdom, and ignore distractions that may cause me to stray.
How about you? Are you plowing straight furrows or are you zigzagging along without purpose? Focus on Him and He will make your paths straight.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6