... for Surprise Results

It is a wonderful thing to plan out a vegetable garden in neat rows, planting different plants to account for differences in height and space requirements, then to sit back and watch them grow, taking care to water and weed so that the plants can reach their full potential. There are times when a little pruning is necessary to allow plants to reach their greatest fruitfulness. Each plant has its individual requirements which need to be accounted for. I have learnt two lessons over the past week: plants can't swim; and some things crop up (literally) that you don't expect.

In the heat early last week, someone turned on the hose and, when there was no spray coming out the end, left it and walked away, only to be discovered about 18 hours later. The garden was swimming! Unfortunately the plants did not enjoy it and have struggled. It only goes to prove that too much of a good thing is not so good! The Bible reminds us that it is good to act, but also to pray. It is good to read and understand, and good to put into practice: the two must go together.

But there is a second lesson: in the midst of well-laid out rows other plants began to surface: plants which had been there in previous seasons sprouted once again. Whilst they spoiled the neatness of the arrangement, the thought of their fruit tempted me to leave them to grow. It reminds me that in the neatness of life there are often events which crop up to surprise us, and remind us of the things we had done in the past. This can be either a good or bad thing, and we would respond to each as appropriate.

I have been reminded of the old hymn which tells us that we come to the garden, and there meet the Saviour. One doesn't have to look hard.

February 9, 1997
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