Sunday, November 30, 2008
The Quality of the Harvest
The Quality of the Harvest
"Gardening, like your life, isn't a project you tend to when it's the right season. It takes planning and readiness all year long," the man told me.
I went to the local hardware store on Saturday looking for some parts I needed to fix a faucet in our kitchen. My wife has much confidence in my ability to figure how to do such things, but also knows it will take much longer than necessary and I'll injure myself. It did and I did.
Don't ask me how it happened, but I didn't injure myself working on the plumbing. I cut myself laying down contact paper under the sink. No, I didn't cut myself on the paper. I have no idea how this happened but it did. And it always does.
Maybe I should call this story "Things you can depend on." Not only because I injured myself but the fact that whenever I head out into the world I can depend on meeting someone with a message I needed to hear. Saturday was no different.
I wandered into the garden shop in search of Spring and signs of life. Spring is life and as I tell you often, life is in the details. Winter's details are brilliant, but I can't wait for Spring.
Although people maybe thinking and longing for Spring here, very few if any, are headed to the garden supply shops. Except for Peter.
Peter was about my age, average height, touches of white around each temple and when it came to gardening very knowledgeable.
"I didn't expect to see anyone in this section so early," I said as I entered the room.
"Why not?" he replied.
"Well Spring hasn't arrived yet. Although I've been carrying it around in my heart for months now." I said smiling.
"Well, my uninformed friend, gardening, like your life, isn't a project you tend to when it's the right season. It takes planning and readiness all year long," Peter told me.
Okay, he had my attention. I know I don't know much about gardening, but life? I pride myself on my life skills.
"But gardening is seasonal. I never saw anyone in their garden with snow up to their knees," I said.
"That's because a good gardener is inside planning, reading and yes growing. There are things we can grow early enough to get a head start on the season. Just like you should in life."
"Go on," I urged him.
"About five years ago, my wife died. One never plans for that. How could you? In life there is a season for that and we hadn't even come near that time. Using the same comparison, our two children were in their growing season. Like in gardening we tended to their needs with nourishment, special care and lots of love. The saddest thing is we never got to the best season of all," he said as he shook his head.
"Harvest time?" I asked.
"Yes, the harvest of our lives. The season after you have worked life's garden, planted for the future, and pulled all the weeds. The time to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor never came. At least not together. Our children are growing and they bring much life into my world. I see them blossoming into all that God had created them to be. But I see it alone." he said now lowering his head and turning away from me.
"Let me ask you something. I plant a seed and the flower grows. At the same time my neighbor down the street plants the same flower and it grows. Mine is thin, with few blooms. Hers is full and healthy looking. The same seed, different gardener. I would guess then that the gardener is reflected in the beauty of the flower, right?" I asked.
"Yes, I guess so."
"Then you are not alone, my friend, for the beauty of your wife is reflected in your children. God provided the seeds, you and your wife made them to grow, and when her harvest came early, she left the garden in good hands," I said.
"I never thought of it that way. You are right. The beauty that I see in my world is a reflection of her and I. They are with me always. Then so is she," he said now smiling.
Taking advantage of the moment I replied, "And I have gained a new insight on gardening and my life. You do reap what you sow and the quality of the harvest lies in the gardener. When it seems that the Winter in our lives will never leave, remember that "All the flowers of all our tomorrows are in the seeds of today." Robert H. Schuller"
Just then his children came running through the door.
"Here comes tomorrow's flowers," he said.
"Daddy, could we plant Daisies again this year?" one child asked.
"Yes, of course. They were Mom's favorite," he said.
"Ours, too!" they said in unison.
"That doesn't surprise me," Dad said as he smiled and kissed them.
Galatians 6:9 Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up.
Pretty story to end the week,