Chaplain's Corner October 2022
By Greg Schmidt
This morning at 6:30 a.m. I opened the back door to my house and made my way to a heart-shaped portion of a new flower garden I am creating. Because the sun wasn’t up yet, it was still a little difficult to see everything. But I mostly needed to dig, so I wasn’t yet dependent upon sunlight.
A half hour later, as dawn began to creep up over on the horizon, I completed digging and raking away about six inches of dirt in a 4’x 5’ “heart” pattern. Over the hole I’d created I then scattered a two cubic foot bag of Miracle Grow Garden Soil to create a “bed” for my tulip, hyacinth and allium bulbs. I placed the roots down and points up, scattered fertilizer, and covered them in a mixture of more Garden Soil and dirt from the garden I’d dug up to make the bed. I then watered the hidden bulbs. I can’t wait to see the plants poke their heads up out of the ground next spring! I have all the time in the world when it comes to waiting for flowers and plants to grow!
Just like the ever-perplexing chicken and the egg mystery, I’m not sure which comes first … the theological truths or the life lessons. Either way, the pursuit of gardening offers so many biblical parallels. For instance, we’re called to die to ourselves (think Philippians 1:21). We know that the condition of the soil is directly linked to the possible outcome (think Mathew 13:1-22 or Mark 4:1-20). We know that a big part of caring or getting involved is predicated on the “steps” on takes; like cultivating, planting, fertilizing and watering (think “Great Commission”; Matthew 28:16-20). We know that every investment takes time (think Psalm 27:14). We know we reap what we sow (think … Galatians 6:7). We know that from something small comes that which is great (think mustard seed in Matthew 17:20). Maybe you could add to this list, let me know!
One of the notations on my bucket list is to become a “Master Gardener.” And I’m NOT talking about the title or program offered by a County Extension Agent. I am talking about becoming increasingly aware of what gardeners do, how they think, what plans/strategies they pursue, what they know/learn about plants, how they daily apply that knowledge to gardening. Jesus used fishing imagery. I like to think of gardening imagery. The point is the same. There are flowers to be planted, nurtured, grown and harvested. And today – perhaps more than ever – the Kingdom of God desperately needs more Master Gardeners!
I’m so glad God has all the time in the world to wait for me to grow into the grace and knowledge of Jesus! I know for sure God isn’t finished with any of us yet. He’s digging, preparing, planting, fertilizing and watering you and me all the time. And then, He waits. He waits for us to struggle and poke our heads out … to grow and flourish and become beautiful displays of His strength and beauty! Grow, friend, grow!