The azaleas are in bright bloom, trees have gone from bare limbs a few weeks ago to having beautiful flowers and now full leaves, and, as our neighbor keeps us informed, the Purple Martin count is rising – now with ten in their bird houses. And, the summer garden prep is beginning, at least at our house. I may have been a little over-enthusiastic, likely planting tomato seeds a little early and we definitely have some that are looking awfully iffy as to whether they’ll make it. The cucumbers sprouts are looking promising and sunflowers are also showing some strong leaves.
You, like me, might be prepping and stirring the soil a bit, mixing in the natural clay with some better soil and hoping for the best. Yet, while doing this, I am also aware it takes time. The soil may take a few years to get the right nutrient balance. And, living in a Methodist parsonage, we are aware that might be about the time we are asked to move … bummer.
Talking with a friend, I am reminded that isn’t this what we’re all called to do? While we like to see the results of our labor, many times we work to tend the soil, to plant the seeds, and we live in trust. We live in trust that God has a much bigger plan than we could ever imagine. We live in trust that Christ is Lord, that, thankfully, whether or not we see the results, we are called to live out our faith, trusting that the Spirit is at work. We are called to keep tending and to keep planting.
As we plant our gardens this spring or as we go about our work or sharing in friendships, we are called to sow love and kindness, even if we don’t see the fruits. Just like those building the temple and later those building cathedrals that took generations to construct, we are called to do our work in a faithful way, laying the bricks, even when we know we will not be able to see the full picture in our time here. We live in the hope of the resurrection, the hope of the kingdom to come, when we will have the gift of seeing God’s master plan. We live, continuing to tend and plant, trusting that the Spirit is at work.
“When the Lord your God has brought you into the land that he swore to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you — a land with fine, large cities that you did not build, houses filled with all sorts of goods that you did not fill, hewn cisterns that you did not hew, vineyards and olive groves that you did not plant — and when you have eaten your fill, take care that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” – Deuteronomy 6:10-12