Spring is one of my favorite times of the year as daylight lingers longer in the evenings, and wildflowers pop out on hillsides. The change in weather even motivated me to get out in the yard recently to do some work. I spent a couple of afternoons pulling weeds in a flowerbed and trimming back wayward branches on some bushes. The work took some time (especially as it was done with a toddler’s “help”), but it was rewarding. It was rewarding to physically get down in the dirt for a while, to do work that I knew needed to be done and to see the results of the work when I finished.
You know, though, my time in the garden is not yet done. Besides the fact that I’ve only cleared out one of several flower beds, there are already tiny little green sprouts growing up in places they don’t belong in the bed I did clear!
It’s an easy mental leap (especially during this season of Lent) to compare this work in the garden with my growth as a disciple of Christ. It takes some time, but it is rewarding. It is rewarding to open myself up, to let Christ get down in the dirt of my soul for a while, digging out bits of selfishness and pride, and making room for more life-giving things to grow. It is rewarding to spend the time needed in prayer, in worship, and in conversation with faith friends. And, it is a blessing to be able to identify the fruit of this time in the garden. But like my physical flower beds, tending to my spirit is work that is not yet (and will never be) done.
It could be discouraging to think of all the work I still have ahead of me, but I honestly look forward to more days spending time in the garden.