Do I need to have a beautiful garden to get into the Celestial Kingdom? Am I compromising my eternal potential if I have more weeds than pansies?
Seriously. I’m really not kidding.
There are so many gospel true-isms in gardening. The law of the Harvest. The value of hard work. You reap what you sow. Adam and Eve were cast out to overcome the thorns and bristles. You name it, you can somehow apply it to dirt.
And so it is, as I stare at my garden, I wonder. We had wonderful tomatoes and pumpkins this year. We managed a few raspberries and strawberries. But really, we planted those berries in the hopes they would “take-over” and reclaim a weed infested area. We kinda hoped the pumpkin would do that too. It didn’t.
Melissa Young wrote a piece for our Spring 2005 issue, “The Garden of Eaten”. I could so thoroughly relate to her frustration that it was comforting to know I was understood. But even Melissa has the most beautiful flower beds in the whole of Cache Valley.
So here I am left to wonder why I can’t seem to keep anything alive. Those dang people at the Nursery where we shop, they must love to see us. We buy plants, we plant them, we water them, we wonder at them, we watch them slowly wither and die. We’ve done it a hundred times.
If I can’t keep plants alive, if I can’t manage to keep weeds out, how could I possibly be entrusted with the glory of the Lord? Is this a stewardship kind of issue?
The pattern of poor gardening is so brimming with good intentions, I often feel those intentions should power my garden through each summer. Spring comes, and brings with it the hope and promise of a new start. We plant. We weed and water and fuss faithfully for weeks.
Then it gets hot. My very earnest and honorable intentions are tested. They are pressed up against the heat of the day, the sweat of my brow. I waver. I falter.
By July, everything is usually dead. The vegetables that are lucky enough to be planted in the path of the sprinklers feebly live on, but all else slips quietly into the great beyond. Even those plants still living are encased by bazillions of weeds. Intentions, somehow, have failed me.
I, during these times, feel strangely bound for hell.