Learning the unforced rhythms of grace


The Motivated Gardener

In the Spring, I am a motivated gardener.  I plant flowers and seeds and water frequently and efficiently.

But at the end of summer, I lose interest. The bean plants that flowered and grew beautiful beans with colorful beans inside begin to dry up on the plant. The beets that I tried growing for the first time, have been abandoned and overgrown by other flowers. One of my friends asked me, "Are you a harvester?" and I laughed realizing I am not! I love starting and maintaining a yard but am not interested in the end work of bringing the veggies in. (My garden is very small - but still!)

God is much more motivated and thorough. He follows through on his plans to bring about fruit. 

I noticed, as I was journalling this morning, that there has been evidence of 'peace' in my life lately. Not just happy moments but a deeper sense of peace, of all-will-be-okay, of I'm-not-alone, and an ability to stay present in my thoughts and spirit. I've been able to be creative and focused, choosing to let some things go and seek change in other things. My response to my family has been kind and gentle and I've been able to stay within my own responsibilities rather than seek to take on what belongs to others. I've had more desire to pray and less desire to control. This is new, especially for September.

In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul writes about this,

"But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely."

This is the work of a Gardener! 

God doesn't give up or lose motivation. He continually imagines what would make you and I more beautiful, and trims off the dead parts, prunes back all that is holding us back and creates room for more growth and life. 

This morning, I'm grateful that God is motivated, that He loves me, and that he is not content to let me just plateau in my maturity. I'm also thankful that growth is inspired and offered by Him. It is not some artificial activity I must do myself. He says that if I 'abide' in Him, this change will begin to happen from within. 

That is a relief! I look forward to seeing more of what His ideas are for my life.

And for yours?