Once again, I was outside conducting my annual experiments that I presumptuously refer to as “gardening”. This spring I put in a new plot, and dumped in a bunch of store bought dirt, sorta/kinda had a ever-expanding design of what to plant where.
I love fresh herbs. Even just watering them releases a beautifully refreshing scent into the air. One thing that I was wanting to add to my stash, but have had difficulty with in the past, was dill. So this year I thought I would just sow a short row of seeds (rather than already half-grown plants from the store) right into the fresh dirt, and “see what happens”. (Such is my typical gardening strategy…)
What happened is this:
And that is AFTER I’ve thinned it out a few times!
It sure looks pretty, but interestingly it didn’t have much fragrance. That’s just fine if you want to use it as a garnish. Not me, I’m a bit more of a function-over-form kind of person. I washed it, wrapped it in a towel and twisted it, crushing the herb to release the fragrance trapped within its lovely greenery. And, OH!, it makes such a great spread for sandwiches and burgers!
What I do find quite fascinating are the other lessons to learned from my time in the dirt, such as…
Our hopes and dreams and plans, those things we put one of our most precious resources into—TIME—often look so pretty as they are growing up, seemingly coming to fruition. These deeply heart-held desires come in various forms: relationships, children, vocation, and here’s a hard one to figure on, specific ministry goals for building God’s kingdom.
And then life happens. The marriage takes a nose-dive, the child walks away from the faith, the job is pulled out from under you, and the ministry plan folds. Seemingly all we’re left with are troubling questions, feelings of guilt and inadequacy, and pain…lots of pain.
Or are we?
“…we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed…”
Penned by the Apostle Paul, if anyone knew what it was like to be wrung out and hung out, it was this man. Beaten, stoned, imprisoned, shipwrecked, friends walking away, his CV reads like one epic fail after another. But he goes on to say this—
“…so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested…”
If my dreams and hopes are seemingly crushed:
- It doesn’t mean they are gone for good.
- The crushing process is sometimes necessary to release the “sweet aroma” and true functionality God intends, (which is always far better than I can imagine.)
- I am being invited to move in closer to the One who creates those hopes and dreams within me, (which is my primary reason for being anyway.)
1-2-3, actually a pretty good recipe after all–for peace!