Sometimes we get so enmeshed in focusing on solving gigantic issues that we forget the simplicity of living day to day effectively and fruitfully. For example, how is it that we put a man on the moon before we figured out it would be a good idea to put wheels on luggage? That guy who invented a space suit probably has back problems because of dragging heavy luggage to his flight to Houston.
Steve Hope, a friend of mine in New Zealand, recently sent me an email that suggests that our life is like a garden. The Bible says that. “The Lord will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will become like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)
So, our life is like a garden we can plant anywhere or any time of the year. Just think of it, if we can use some common sense in daily life, we can have the uncommon sense and strength to solve those big problems in life. When you have a strong base to operate from personally, it’s easier to be more efficient and effective in all aspects of life.
Let’s consider the following. If we can be a well-watered garden, what can we plant in our personal garden?
Firstly, plant three rows of “peas”…peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of soul. Faith is the ability to not panic. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not get bent out of shape. Spending today complaining about yesterday won't make tomorrow any better. Remember, peace of mind, heart, and soul, come from peace with God. When you have peace with God, then you can have the peace of God.
Here’s a good thought on peace of soul by director Baz Luhrmann. “Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. Remember compliments you receive and forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.” My answer to how is right thinking and God’s grace at work in us!
Now that we have planted our three rows of “peas” — peace of mind, peace of heart and peace of soul — let’s explore what else we can plant. Remember, our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.
After the peas come “squash” … squash gossip, squash indifference, squash grumbling, and squash selfishness. Concerning gossip, remember that silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted. Concerning indifference, remember indifference is checking out. Passion is checking in. Don’t let indifference squash your passion. Concerning grumbling, remember grumbling is verbal leaking to the outside things that are on our inside. Grumbling creates verbal pollution bigger than the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Squash it, put a cap on it, and it stops polluting. Finally, squash selfishness. Maturity is discovering that the world doesn’t revolve around us. Be happy. Forced joy is better than genuine depression.
Next are four rows of “lettuce”…let us be faithful, let us be kind, let us be patient, and let us really love one another. Making commitments generates hope but keeping commitments generates trust. Trust is like a rope that connects one person to another. Then let us plant kindness. Since kind people are your kind of people, be kind too. Patience is an incredible thing to plant. When you get tangled up in your problems, be patient and still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
Don’t forget to plant love right where you live with your neighbors, friends, family, and community. Those “in need” need a friend who also is a friend indeed. To the world, you might be one person, but to one person you might be the world. A good place to find a helping hand is at the end of your arm.
Lastly, let’s plant three rows of “thyme”…time for God, time for prayer, and time for the people that really matter in your life. Don’t let bad experiences in life stop you from planting time. Time is an investment. Often, time is the currency of a great relationship.
Spending time with God in the Scriptures and in prayer is for all ages. Young people tend not to read the Bible very much. Older people tend to read the Bible like crazy. It’s like older people are cramming for their finals. Unfortunately, the same is true of prayer. For a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home every day.
The most important things in your house are the people in that house, or who were in that house. Some people talk to you in their free time and some free their time to talk to you. Learn the difference. Turn up for those in the second category.
The world is filled with nice people. If you can't find one, be one. Be somebody who makes everyone feel like somebody. Now, that’s what I call a garden. Don’t just go for it, sow for it, but you may have to grow for it.