Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The other evening we watched a gardening show on TV. Everything the expert presenter touched turned out perfectly, producing a beautiful garden. Why does mine never look like that? However, it seems that one thing did not work out as well as he had planned. He explained that to complement a tall plant in a large pot he had planted three varieties of tulip at its base. The idea was that they would bloom in sequence thus enhancing the effect of the star plant. Sadly with the violent and unexpected changes in weather we have experienced over the last few months the tulips did not bloom as he had hoped.
But then life is like that. As Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s best known poets wrote in his poem ‘To a Mouse’ in 1785: “The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.” In other words no matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it. Nearly three hundred years later things have not changed! Today, life seems to throw just as many obstacles in our path, perhaps leading us down dark tunnels where we would rather not go. All those carefully thought out decisions and well organised arrangements made that come to naught. And why?
Yet our faith in the Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour, illustrates clearly enough that evil cannot triumph, for good will always overcome it. Right at the very beginning of St John’s Gospel he makes that point very clearly, for we read: ‘The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it’ John 1:5 NIV. Of course, we need to bear in mind that God’s time scale is not ours, so that we may sometimes be led to wonder where God is in all this chaos. But we can be sure that He is there, now and forever, walking alongside us. After all, we are God’s beloved children and as such He cares for us and wants the best for us. That may not be what we expect or perhaps think we need but who are we to argue with God?
Indeed that point was made by what happened to the expert gardener’s careful planning. It seems that rather than bloom in sequence as planned, all the tulips bloomed together as one, producing a much more glorious effect than if they had bloomed in sequence!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years