One of my favorite things about gardening is time alone with my thoughts. Immersed in nature with no electronic distractions is where I often come up with ideas for my blog; and this morning was no exception.
Today's musings: What if we tended our own lives a bit more like our gardens?
This year, I have decided to let some things go in my garden, and its beautiful ...and also slightly terrifying. Every day I watch my HUGE kale and asparagus plants grow and take over space, as they are producing seed for next year's garden. Radishes and spinach are bursting with woody growth and not-so-eye-appealing seed heads.
That controlling little voice in my head keeps telling me to cut them back!
As gardeners, we control the environment of our plants. We tend to them with care and precision. We pinch dead blooms, harvest our fruits and veggies at just the right time and keep the weeds at bay.
But once in a while, life happens outside of the garden and things get a little out of control. When plants grow too much and go to seed, they tend to get large and unruly; and in general, things just look messy!
But appearances can be deceiving. Take a moment to stop and really think about what is happening when we let plants go: it is often when they are most productive.
When plants get to a point that we may consider them to be out of control, they are really just doing what God intended in His natural design.
THAT is where the magic happens! They grow, yield seed and multiply unhindered.
Seeing this magic in my garden got me to thinking; what happens to us when WE let things go?
We hear the phrase all the time when we have worries, challenges or fears – “just let it go”!
But let’s face it, letting go is HARD!
When we tend our lives like we tend a perfect garden, we keep things in order, do life on our time schedule and in our own way, and we are proactive about making things just how we want them to be. Appearances rather than productivity, are everything in a perfect garden and in a "perfect" life.
When “unruly plants” creep in, say in the form of negative thoughts, tough situations or difficult people; letting it go often feels passive and unintentional. Rather, we intentionally avoid situations, cut people off and kill relationships just like we would a pesky weed.
It’s easier to take command of the situation than it is to face the uncertainty of letting things get too messy, big and out of control. In fact, it looks better too, doesn't it? Nice and clean.
But WHAT IF we tended to our lives like the messy garden that it really is, without expecting quite so much perfection?
WHAT IF when life gets big, messy, unruly and out of control, we simply…..
hold back in patience and wait to see what happens?
WHAT IF all the messy stuff is just a growth phase that we must endure in order to mature?
WHAT IF letting go isn't passive at all, what if its simply and prayerfully stepping out of our own way and letting GOD work His magic; still working, but working within His will?
In Genesis, God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:11-12
Do you notice how plants are designed to yield seed, and it is GOOD?
The whole Bible is ripe (plant pun totally intended) with analogies of plants and seeds as things that God wants to see His children bear. Even the Kingdom of Heaven is compared to a mustard seed in the New Testament. Even though it can be scary, messy and uncomfortable, there is beauty in letting go.
When we let go of situations that are beyond our control, we often feel lighter. We drop heavy feelings of frustration, resentment and envy. When we allow ourselves to let go, we can refocus and allow ourselves to see the beauty in the not-so-eye-appealing.
When we let go is often when we are the most productive and have the most growth.
If we never let plants go, we will never get seeds.
Miraculous and wonderful things happen when we see the beauty in Letting Go.
In letting go, we allow for growth and maturity in ourselves.
We can toil and labor, but we will never see our full potential until we Let go and Let God.
"I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth." 1 Corinthians 3:6