FOOTSTEPS IN FAITH
Growing up on a Vermont farm we raised our own vegetables. Not only did my Mom spend hours out there in our garden planting seeds, weeding, and talking to the growing plants, but she encouraged me to help. As we worked together, I learned that tending a garden teaches us lessons in life.
I grew to better understand the cycles of nature – sun, rain, warm weather, cold weather, the waiting between seasons of planting and harvesting. The garden whispers that they correspond to the cycles of the growth of our soul and inner self. Learn to work. Learn to wait and pray. Learn to expect God to bless you with a good harvest.
Sowing and reaping. Whatever we sow, that will we reap. If we plant eggplant, we won’t harvest camote. If I think positive thoughts, thoughts of kindness, love, and abundance, then my life will be filled with good things.
If I walk around with a smile on my face, those I meet will smile back at me. If I allow my life to be filled with concerns and anxieties that grow like pervasive weeds, then I should expect my life and spirit to be choked up with difficulties, and many things that I want to do will not get done properly or at all.
Sowing and waiting. This is another hard lesson that took me quite a while to learn…how to wait. Yes, I need to be doing, but between the doing and the harvest, is a period of waiting. And impatient person that I am, this is the time when I need to remind myself that the Lord is trying to teach me the virtue of patience. Since I can be stubborn at times, this is a lesson I have yet to perfect.
Weeding and pruning. It hurts me to cut away branches and prune plants, especially if they are still greening, in order to promote abundant growth in the future. However, I now understand that pruning is necessary to strengthen the plant as well as to encourage complete growth.
So, too, is it sometimes necessary to have a certain amount of suffering, difficulties, and pain in one’s life. Pain prunes the unessential emotions, unrealistic dreams and illusions so that we will be more likely to focus on what is really important in life.
I suggest, well, recommend, that if you don’t have a garden nearby, create one in a sunny corner of your home with a few pots of herbs to stimulate taste and smell, a flat bed for a few camote or alagbati vines to add fresh variety and vitamins to your meals, with a couple of pots of ornamental flowering plants to enliven the spirit.
Observe your plants, then check out your lifestyle. Day by day, step by step we grow along with the vegetables and flowers, in patience, in faith, and in better health. These are just a few of the many benefits to be learned from your garden, lessons for your lifestyle, soul and spirit, as well as better nutrition for you and your loved ones.