Pointing at the bulletin letter's date (link) at left will display it's title.
May 4, 2008
Our Lives in God’s Garden
Following our long and bitter winter Spring could not have come soon enough. Even the skiers were eager to see the green turf. The evidence of this pervasive feeling is found in nurseries throughout the state. Regardless of where you go you can see dozens of people shopping for plants, trees, or other types of greenery that will be planted in the near future. Even when we know full well that planting before May 15th is not advisable, we continue to see people preparing for the late spring and summer planting. New Life is in our blood.
This urge to plant seeds or plants or bulbs is not a matter of boredom or even of simply enjoying the outdoors. If any of us have had the experience of gardening we know that gardening can be very tedious and back wrenching. We need to keep telling ourselves that it is good for our health otherwise we could easily quit half way through the process. What then, leads us to this endeavor? What seems to lures us to the ground, the earth, the rocks and rills? Perhaps there is a deeper meaning to the exercise of gardening.
When we think about it we realize that the seeds, the bulb, the plants and everything else that is related to the garden, yes even the weeds, are a reflection of our own lives as they relate to God. We have read many Gospel stories that relate to seeds, weeds and trees. Thrown into the mix are the rocks and thorns and thickets. All of them refer to us and our lives in faith. We have been told that our faith is symbolized by the seeds that grow into trees. The rocks and thorns represent our hard or thorny hearts. Nature, then, is a perfect reflection of our inner garden.
We all have an inner garden. Some of us have beautiful flowers and plants that bloom year round. All that come into contact with such people realize that they are in the presence of spiritual beauty. It is good to be in the presence of such a person - such a beautiful inner garden. Some of us have a few more weeds and rocky ground with hearts that need a bit more softening. And then there are those who push people away with their thorny manner.
Another way of seeing ourselves as part of God’s garden is by realizing that we are all connected to God in some way. Those of us who are firmly rooted in God’s ways and in his love are like the plants that are firmly rooted in the earth or to a vine. If you have not been blessed with a green thumb you may often experience the near death experience of once beautiful plants. You begin seeing the wilting of the leaves or the dying of a branch. This is precisely what happens to us when we attempt to live without God’s nutrients. A plant that is deprived of the water or nutrients it needs will soon wither and die. If we attempt to live our lives with a minimum amount of God’s presence we soon wither. Like a plant, it doesn’t happen over night. We can actually survive for some time but in reality our inner self is experiencing a slow “death”.
Why do we love beautiful gardens? Because they are an outward semblance of what we so desperately want to emulate. We want to be beautiful on the inside. We are attracted to such beauty in others. We are repulsed by the thorns and rocks of others. As we garden, perhaps we hope to learn from the earth and the rest of nature. And, perhaps we will learn after all.
Lorette P. Nault