Simple Rules of Gardening

In the age of social media, we are constantly bombarded with images and information depicting happy people with happy lives. I have lived long enough to interpret most of these images. Human life is full of misery. Most of the world is overburdened with sadness and depression. Everyone is in search of that ‘missing something’. Most people somehow believe that this missing something is their antidote to depression ….the missing piece of the puzzle that will take them to their ‘happy ever after’. Well, sure there is morphine, but the euphoria you experience is false, temporary and worse – addictive on a cellular level. So am I here to talk about the wretchedness of human life? No, I’m here to tell you the true secret to happiness. Wow, yes I have cracked the code.

Pining to abandon
your garden and cross to the other side looking for greener pastures?

Now, your’e intrigued and can’t wait, right? Drum roll please; here goes… Tend to your own garden! Stop peeking into your neighbour’s. The grass may seem greener that side. Life aint a race. If all your friends are married with three and four kids, that’s great for them. Or maybe not! If all your batch-mates graduated two years ago and you’re still struggling to scrape though. So be it. Well, I’m not saying do’nt do anything about it. Yes, put in your best effort; study. But if you aren’t cut for academics, try to explore other avenues. Maybe you have some hidden talents/potential in a different arena. Compare yourself to yourself alone. If you’re better than what you were; if you made any progress, you’re doing awesome. First we had Orkut. Then came Hi5. Then we got Facebook followed by Twitter and Instagram and now we have the appalling Tinder. I quit being active on Facebook almost 5 years ago. I recently got on to it again when I started this blog. That is when I created my first ever Instagram and Twitter accounts. I still have no clue how to use Twitter and am such a rookie with Insta. I barely understand Facebook anymore. I do not have these apps on my phone and that is a conscious decision. I do not want to be engrossed in other people’s lives to the point that it becomes an addiction. Of course I love my friends and family and would love to stay connected. But I can do that through messaging apps or calls. I don’t need to be checking on them daily! Every once in a while I check out my social media accounts and send some love across or just use it as a platform to showcase my articles. I’m busy tending to my own garden. Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies will have their fill of poverty.- Proverbs 28:19.

Which season are you in? Is it harvest time already?

Have you ever tried gardening? If you attempted to grow a plant, you will understand my references here. You have to first wait for the right season to sow; certain plants only sprout up if the conditions are favourable. You have to get the soil ready. If you had plants in the same pot before and the soil is all set and rocky, your new plant will be unable to develop its roots, the foundation. Then you need seeds. Then you have to be regular at watering. Once it sprouts, you have to maintain that plant. You have to tend to it. It would do you good to have some knowledge on the specific plant whose fruits you intend enjoying. You have to maintain the parameters for steady growth – pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium. It’s not necessary to know the intrinsic details, but you have to check on your plant every now and then, right? I’m horrible at gardening. I just lost all of my plants to a mealy bug infestation. But I haven’t given up. There is a time for sowing and a different time for harvest. It is lovely to watch your plant grow all to way up and blossom and produce fruits/flowers. That is the law of nature. God has created seasons. The earth respects these laws of nature. Similarly, in the spirit realm, there are laws and seasons. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 tells us: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth? I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in His time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life. And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the gift of God.

my diseased chili plant

Do you know what happens when you don’t water your plants? What if you’re so busy coveting your neighbour’s garden that you haven’t noticed your garden isn’t getting adequate sun. What if your garden is under attack – bugs, disease, pests. I’ll tell you from experience… it all dies. Everything gets destroyed. Now what? Sulk in agony and pain while you continue to watch your neighbours romance in their garden. No sweetie, you start all over again. John 15:8 tells us Jesus wants you to bear fruit. He wants to prosper you and the work of your hands. Let’s look at this chapter. It is a treasure chest of precious gems. But, we will focus only on the gardening bit for now 🙂 John chapter 15 goes like this: I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.

my beautiful hibiscus plan that recently succumbed to mealy bugs

Are you living your life in Christ. Are you connected with Him? I’m not asking if you go to church on Sundays, celebrate Easter and call yourself a Christian. I’m asking if Jesus dwells in your heart. Does He influence ALL your decisions? Can you hear His nudge every step you take? Do you do things specifically for Him? Do you feel connected with Him? Well, if you are part of the body of Christ, you are definitely going to produce fruit – of great quality and abundant quantity. Don’t be discouraged if the gardener {God} decides to prune you. The dictionary defines pruning as ‘trim by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to encourage growth.’ He’s trying to teach you something valuable which will ensure a better harvest and promote growth. Hang on; you will see the fruits of your perseverance soon. Just focus on keeping this one commandment above all : love one another. Remember forgiveness and sacrifice are the two main components of love. God wants to bless you; His glory is revealed in your works! Jesus also focuses on the power of the Word/scriptures and how you can achieve anything that is good and right by it’s application. I will refrain from elaborating more on this right now; watch out for future posts pertaining to this topic for clarity. Isaiah 65:21 says, ‘In those days people will live in the houses they build and eat the fruit of their own vineyards.’

my new chili plant – perseverence

Lets take a look at the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds came and devoured them. Some fell on stony places, where they did not have much earth; and they immediately sprang up because they had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear! Later in that same chapter, Jesus goes on to decode this marvelous parable. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. What is this word? The word of God – the breath of life, scriptures. Jesus is the word of God – the word that became flesh and dwelt among us. You can read the Bible for decades and not comprehend a thing or be unable to relate to it. That will do you no good. If you receive the Word, comprehend it, keep it in your heart, practise it, The Word in you will bear much fruit. As you sow, you shall reap.

The Word is Life
Yes, that’s me touching a real snake…..

Right from the beginning in Eden, with Adam and Eve and Cain, the good Lord has attempted to teach His children the laws of gardening. If you’re not spiritually alert, the bugs will attack and devour your garden or the serpent may come and trick you into losing your harvest. Let me attempt to summarize it for you. Rules of spiritual gardening:

  • 1. Respect the season you are in. Keep your spiritual eyes, ears, senses open and attentive.
  • 2. Plant the word/seed in good fertile soil.
  • 3. Tend to your garden.
  • 4. Do not compete with other gardeners and lose focus on your own garden.
  • 5. Stay connected to the power source, the vine – do not detach yourself from Him.
  • 6. Honour the commandment of love.
  • 7. Persevere through the pruning; because although it is temporarily painful, it ensures better yield and productivity.
Nursing my heavily infested, rotting garden 😦
Ruelha

8 Comments

  1. Tending to the garden, rather, planting and growing new plants and trees is definitely a pleasurable activity. Good work Madam..!! Hope to see more of your posts on plants and trees.. 🙂
    Please be careful of snakes. There should be no compromise on safety..

    Liked by 1 person

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