There is something about Winter that I will miss; being that there is no chance of accidental gardening. I don’t like gardening. It is not enjoyable in any way. I don’t like pulling weeds, digging, mulching or trimming. Cutting the grass is about the only thing I don’t mind doing. And that may be because I get to drive a riding mower.
Raking is also very bad. I just had to get that out. It is simply a horrible activity. When does it end? Never. There is no clear moment, no defining point in time when you feel like you finished. With every pull of the rake, as much dead grass comes up as the pass before. It keeps coming up, again and again. I don’t know where it comes from, and I don’t care to learn.
Perhaps my frustration with gardening started with our first back yard in Hamilton. One summer it was infested with what is called Creeping Charlie. This particular weed hugs the ground as it spreads, avoiding the blades of the mower. I watched over that summer as it creeped from one side of my back yard to the other. I had enough one day so I bought some liquid weed killer and I sprayed it all over the lawn. It didn’t work. I think it actually fed the weeds. Then I tried some “weed ‘n feed” dry fertilizer to strengthen the grass as to choke out the weeds. Passive resistance! I had a used rolling spreader, but whenever I would turn a corner, it would dump a little pile of fertilizer. The following week I had burned patches all over my lawn. The only places that still looked healthy was (you guessed it), the Creeping Charlie. We sold the house and left town.
I don’t like gardening.
Considering He cursed the fig tree, I suspect Jesus didn’t like gardening either. Regardless, He often used plant analogies when He taught. One of His favourites was comparing God’s kingdom and God’s word to a seed. This is an interesting choice. Today, this would not be an effective marketing strategy, comparing your newly branded kingdom with something so small and insignificant. The stock market reports would not respond well to that campaign. Seeds are not much to look at; quite uninspiring. If you were to find a seed in your hand, you are likely to throw it away.
Yet, a seed has the potential for great life. Everything needed to create a huge oak tree is all right in there. The award winning giant rutabaga this past year started out as a seed. All seeds are like that. But the seed cannot do much if it’s stuck inside the little package. To produce life it requires the right circumstances, surrounded by a particular environment.
Soil also contains great potential. Within good soil, there are minerals, nutrients and properties that feed life and give the seed a platform to succeed. The seed and the soil are made for each other. If you keep the two separate, both of them remain useless. If you bring the two together, something amazing can happen. In the same way, God’s word was given for the purpose of being planted in the human heart.
“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” – Matthew 13:23
The seed of the Word and the human heart were made for each other. However, the conditions determine the potential for life. In his parable, Jesus warned that worries, stress, thievery and shallow decisions can impede or kill off new life. These precious seeds require the right circumstances, surrounded by a particular environment to produce life. It begs the question, what is the condition of our hearts today?
It is an answer worth looking into. The explosive return for this kind of investment would cause even Wall Street to take notice.