Scripture: Paul wrote: So let
us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time,
if we do not give up.” (Gal. 5:9, NRSV)
My garden was
really looking good. The temperatures and rainfall were ideal, and the seeds
responded by sprouting and growing well. I put a fence around it, just over
knee high, using a type that promises to guard against predatory
It turns out that the fence was false security.
The deer jumped over it, rabbits went through it, and groundhogs dug
under it. Goodbye lettuce, adieu peas, farewell cabbage. Apparently they
aren’t keen on chowing down on onions and horseradish, leaving those untouched,
but that beautiful sweet corn, hip high by the 4th of July, became a disaster
zone of bare cobs and broken stalks.
Fences won’t stop weeds, of course, so the usual variety
of unwanted vegetation made its appearance. That, too, is part of gardening.
Thistles made their annual visitation, thanks in part to immigration from
the unmowed neighboring field. They are easy to pull, but I actually left
some because of the service that they provided. Guardians of the goodies!
Yes! Spinach. I did get several meals of spinach, because that was where
I let the thistles grow. I’m still pondering that lesson.
In a sense, our entire lives are as a garden. We ‘plant’
many different things over the course of time. Just as the produce from
my vegetable garden is true to the seed that I plant, so are the fruits
from my spiritual ‘garden’ true to my lifestyle.
More of Paul’s insight: “Do not be deceived; God
is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow. If you sow to your own flesh,
you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you
will reap eternal life from the Spirit. So let us not grow weary in doing
what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.”
(Gal. 5:7-9, NRSV)
Should I expect weeds and animals to respect my long
experience as a gardner, and not visit me? Of course not! They simply see
my garden, or any garden, as a place to grow, or as a food source. Likewise,
my Spiritual garden will be attacked by earthly impulses if given the
slightest chance. Works of the flesh!
According to Paul, “the works of the flesh are obvious:
Fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, jealousy,
anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and
things like these.” (Gal. 5:21a)
Will I plant another garden? Certainly! I know now
that my simple fence was not adequate to the task. Nor can I be casual
about my Spiritual fences, either. Like Paul, I desire to reap at the harvest.
I will do what is right.
“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity
faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” (Galations 5:22-23,
NRSV) Grow for it!
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