This year I decided to plant a veggie garden for the first time. I spent the winter planning which vegetables I wanted to try growing, how much sunlight they’d need, and how to care for them. For the most part, I chose produce that is supposedly easy to grow and can tolerate a bit of frost.
I planted everything in the middle of April and now have beautiful signs of life sprouting up. This means, according to my research, it’s time to do something I have been dreading. It’s time to thin the growth.
Logically I know that cutting away some of the growth is necessary; that to ensure the plant thrives, there needs to be some sacrifice. Even knowing all of this, it still makes me feel sad that I’m taking away some of the precious life that worked so hard to spring to the surface.
As I thin the radishes, my attention wanders and I think, “Is this how God feels?”
No, thinning the plants didn’t give me an egotistical “look at me, I’m so mighty!” power trip. As I said, the process saddened me.
What I realized is how hard it can be to do things that seem so pointless, depressing, or difficult, even when we know they’re required for the greater good… Even when we know, we are ultimately doing what we need to do to truly nurture a living being.
All living things require “thinning”. If we don’t let go of the things that no longer serve us or do what we need to in order to grow, we become stuck.
In my life, I’ve experienced many seasons of “thinning.” Seasons where I didn’t understand why things had to happen the way they did. Even seasons where I believed that if God exists, they must be bad because so much goes wrong in this world.
What I didn’t see then is that no fruit (or veggies in the case of my garden) will grow without sacrifice. Just as my radishes would eventually suffocate under the stress of too much competition and die, we ultimately suffer more if our paths are not redirected in ways that ultimately lead to growth.
Like my radishes, if we have the grace to allow God (or the Universe or whatever you choose to label our lifeforce) to be our gardener, and are patient, we will eventually arrive at a season where we can say we are truly thriving.
You don’t have to believe in God or share my beliefs to be welcome at Humble Hollow, but I ask that in return, you respect me and the perspectives I share. Which is why I’d like to add this final thought:
During my most difficult seasons, I hadn’t yet had the epiphany that God doesn’t sin, people do, as a result of free will. Free will is one of our greatest gifts, but it also means that occasionally bad things happen and God has to do a little more gardening than even they may have wished…gardening to turn bad situations into something productive.
This faith has served me well in a world that seems so out of control, and it is this faith that has transformed me from someone who was becoming rather bitter to someone who is truly in love with the garden that is my life.
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