I spent some time in the flower beds yesterday. I have little experience with gardening, but I would like to learn more. We have some beds in our front yard that didn't seem to have had much care before we moved in almost two years ago. So yesterday I set out to remove a dead bush, pull weeds, and dig out rocks left over from the lava-rock landscaping that had been done several years ago, in anticipation of planting new, brightly-colored flowers and nice, green groundcover.
As I began the process of digging, pulling, chopping, and sifting, I realized the process was a good stress reliever, though somewhat difficult. After the past few weeks, a pretty hefty dose of stress relieving was certainly in order, so I set about to get as much done as possible. I could tell pretty quickly, though, that some soreness was sure to set in come morning.
I had plenty of time to do some reflecting as I worked in the flower beds, and the more work I did, the more I realized an important parallel that could be drawn between the gardening and many situations in our lives. In order to have the good stuff in our lives--what is good, lovely, admirable--it often takes some cleaning out and sifting first. The process can be difficult, painful, and not always fun. But it's necessary in order to make room for what is better. We can settle for mediocrity and ignore the weeds, rocks and dying plants that are around us. Or we can strive for what God really wants for us--life that is beautiful and abundant--knowing that while the process may be difficult, hard work and sometimes even painful, in the end, it will be very much worth it.