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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Learn from the Plant

This morning I was doing the most tedious part of what should later be so pleasing: weeding our garden in order to begin preparing it for spring planting.  I delight in pouring in fresh new soil into the garden at the start of each new season.  My kids and I all take joy in seeding carrots and planting new starts of broccoli, lettuce, peppers, onion, and – our favorite – strawberries.  Most of all, we love harvesting it.  When the fruit and vegetables come in and we get to make complete salads from our own garden, mmmm! Delicious!  And so rewarding!

But none of that comes without the pre-planting weeding.  Ugh. The stubborn nuisances I fought this morning kept refusing to be pulled by their roots, so I spent a good portion of the morning working at it, but barely made a dent in the garden.  Still, persist I will, for I know the future return will be worth it.

While gardening, I was reminded of a whisper that came to me only a few weeks ago.  The whisper said that we humans are to learn from the plant who has one and only one mission in life: to touch the sun.  As gardeners, we should encourage plants, as if we’re cheerleaders, to root them on for their one mission, as it does help them grow.  The gardener may be rooting on the plant to grow big strawberries, but the plant only hears encouragement for its only mission to touch the sun.  It doesn’t occur to the plant that any other purpose in life exists, so if it hears encouragement, the encouragement, naturally, is for its one mission.  It doesn’t even know it’s growing strawberries.  That’s merely a side benefit for the gardener.   

The gardener might get too focused on the fruit and forget the Light.  In that case, the fruit is no longer meaningful.  When we are bearing fruit and doing good deeds, Jesus tells us “do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matt 6:3).  Even better, like the plant, we won’t even know we’re bearing fruit!

The plant, says the whisper, has a small degree of intelligence: just enough to know its one goal in life, but not enough to know its goal would be physically impossible.  We humans are to be like the plant: to seek only to touch the Light and not even notice if we are also growing fruit.  We humans are too focused on the fruit.  But if we’re like a plant that doesn’t even know it’s growing fruit and cares only to touch the Light, then we will be blessed with all. 

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you”
(Matt 6:33).