The Lord will guide you continuallyIsaiah 58:11
and provide for you, even in parched places.
He will rescue your bones.
You will be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water that won’t run dry.
Evidently one post featuring the new chainsaw was not going to be enough. Rebekah and I are now up to our necks in a project that is mostly around and over the property line, but visually all Maul-Hall.
Our neighbor, Jim, isn’t exactly into yard work. So when we asked if we could thin out the overgrowth and take down a few trash trees he shrugged his shoulders, said “Do whatever you like,” and went back inside!
So now, instead of a dark, messy, unkempt thicket, the space between the two houses is getting opened up and cleaned out.
The real point of this post (other than the opportunity to gift the Internet with a photograph of Rebekah in Chainsaw Rambo mode!) is that of hope. This is the most sustained hard work Rebekah has been able to do in the garden since before her 2016 neck surgery, and she is very pleased with the progress.
The key seems to be pacing. Some work, a break for tea, some more work, then rest. Anything that is not completed today can be moved forward to tomorrow – or later in the week. There is no sense of “this is the only day I have to garden in the next month” urgency.
Process vs finished product:
The other important element of this equation is the fact that the garden may or may not look the way we want it to – ever – and that’s okay with us. It’s about the process, not the results or the surface appearance.
In many respects the garden is a lot like church:
- The work is constant;
- the potential is limitless;
- it always needs sunshine and always needs rain (usually at the same time);
- every morning presents a variety of new challenges;
- there is always something in bloom and always something that needs the chainsaw;
- what looks like progress to one person may look like a waste of time and energy to someone else;
- there are seasons when the optics are marvelous (Spring and Fall in the garden; Advent and Lent at church), but being committed every week produces a richer, more complete, experience;
- there is always something important to do;
- in the end it is all in the hands of God.
Back to that theme of hope: I am very grateful that Rebekah is back in the garden, and that we have the luxury of pacing. This morning, for example, she’s at her desk working on church bulletin information in preparation for preaching this weekend – because there’s always the pull of that other garden too.
In love, and because love is the only way what’s important can grow – DEREK