Friday, September 25, 2009

harvest-time thoughts

I love to garden at any time of the year, but I got especially excited this fall at the prospect of digging up and replanting the daffodil, tulip and crocus bulbs that I had discovered were lurking below the surface of my front yard. The soil in my front garden needed to be thoroughly tilled and hence the bulbs would have to be moved, at least temporarily. The digging up process really was like a treasure hunt, as I gingerly explored the soil with my trowel, then used my hands to find every last bulb. The daffodils especially had been working hard at reproducing and there were very large clumps of them that needed to be separated.

I've been thinking a lot recently about what it means to be spiritually fruitful. The first thing that strikes me is the necessity of being pruned. Most of the daffodil bulbs I found buried underground would never have been able to sprout and flower if I hadn't dug them up and forcefully separated them before replanting. It take the eyes of faith to regard what I see as needless pain in my life as the hand of God pruning and caring for me.

Another paradoxical phenomenon for bearing good fruit is the necessity of letting some things seemingly go to waste. In order for a fruit tree to reproduce itself in the wild, some of its fruit must fall to the ground and rot. Only when the fruit has completely decomposed and its seeds have been washed deep in dirt and lain dormant through the chill of winter can new life begin. I find that I need humility to let some parts of my life go through a necessary period of rotting: not to insist that every new effort I make result in immediate fruit. After all, God has created us as finite creatures that do not see things all at once, but discursively. I guess if you can't rush nature, you can't rush the supernatural either. Thank God for the gift of His seasons which helps me see the wisdom behind His ways.

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