“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” (Prov. 4:23)
I enjoy gardening. There is something satisfying in bringing living things from the earth (and enjoying the fruits of those labors). I think that enjoyment and satisfaction come from the fact that we were made to be gardeners. That was the original man’s original task. God said, “ Here’s the garden… take care of it.” (Gen. 2:15) Not a bad gig at all. Especially, when everything grew perfectly, and nothing was ever “fighting against you.”
My, how that has changed.
There is a lot to be learned about life by working in the garden.
One of those things is this… Weeds require no care to thrive. But the plants we desire to grow, require constant nurture. Weeds will survive the toughest drought. The plants we desire, seem to shrivel daily in the heat of summer. Various pests have zero interest in eating our weeds. The pests spend all their time munching happily away at the plants we desire to grow.
If we desire to plant a garden, we had better be ready to battle with nature – because nature will kick our proverbial backsides (botanically speaking) if we are not prepared. If we do not stay diligent, we will quickly lose the battle.
Gardening is a commitment to patience and preservation. Nurture and knowledge – knowing how to keep plants healthy and thriving. The plants we desire to grow, depend upon us to be healthy and productive. But if we make that commitment, the plants will do what they were designed to do – produce mounds of delicious fruits and vegetables for our dining pleasure. (That may be why harvest time is always celebrated in the Bible! It is the celebration of our victory…)
Here’s the parallel (and the point for today)… The “old you” is very much like weeds in the garden. We don’t have to do a single thing for the “old you” to thrive. What is more, the “old you” will take no time at all to overrun our soul’s “garden.” If not checked, it will overwhelm our lives. The only thing that anyone will see in us, is the “mess” of our unintended “growth.” Weeds are never celebrated.
Neither is the old you.
If we desire to be more than a “garden mess…” we must take care of the “new you.” We must guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23!). We must pay attention to what we give our attention to – and what we “allow” into our garden. We must feed and nurture our thoughts on healthy things – Godly things. As the Apostle told us: “Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8) Why?? Because this is the way we nurture what we really desire to have in our soul’s garden.
Gardening teaches us that nurturing the “new you” is a vital part of HOW we grow in the Lord…
Prayer focus: God, fix my thoughts on You… and on nurturing the seed of Life You have planted within me — so that I may grow to maturity and honor You with much fruit.