I like to garden. I especially like my vegetable garden because I get a tangible payoff – lettuce, beans, tomatoes, etc.
I had given up gardening for a few years in part, because it takes a fair amount of time and time was something I lacked; in part, because we had a groundhog family that seemed intent on eating everything that I planted down to the ground. No matter how beautiful the garden looked and how healthy the plants were, just about the time I could imagine the first beans coming on, that nasty rodent and his extended family would eat my carefully tended plants down to their stems.
But a couple years ago I decided to give it a try again. After all, I hadn’t seen a groundhog in a long time – at least not in my yard – and I really love gardening. Last summer was one of the best gardens I have had in a long time. And this year looked even more promising. Until today.
I walked out to my garden after work to check on my beans, hoping there might be enough there for my husband and I to enjoy with our dinner. But to my horror, three of my six rows of beans were visibly munched on by some ravenous rodent. And those that were not munched on were flattened.
Visions of shotguns danced in my head. I considered dousing myself in mosquito spray and standing vigil near my garden all night, gun in hand, ready to eliminate any furry intruder. Of course I knew I was as likely to shoot myself in the foot as kill the invading varmint, but that seemed a small price to pay.
Once my husband got home and calmed me down he assured me he would find a way to foil the fiend. And I realized that all my ranting, as usual, had done me no good at all.
And that made me realize that gardening is a life lesson of sorts. It takes patience, work, and care but in the end, the results are largely out of my control. How often hasn’t my life been like that? And how often haven’t I ranted, furious that things hadn’t turned out my way?
So what if instead of ranting, I tried to figure out what God would like me to learn from the experience? That would probably be a good place to start. Currently, I’m thinking that maybe God wants me to learn to improve my aim…….