Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
The weather here was bright and sunny over the weekend and so we took the opportunity to work in the garden. There is a lot to do at this time of year clearing away the fallen leaves, reducing the height of the roses and other shrubs and bushes so that they do not suffer to much in the winter storms to come as well as clearing away the dead growth. It’s surprising what you find when the ground is cleared – we found a sycamore sapling blown by the wind and rooted in the undergrowth struggling to reach the air. That needs to come out as there is no room for more trees, not there anyway. There is still much to do. For example, the Tamarisk bush which over the years has grown into a tree needs cutting back by a third but that’s a job for another day. Of course there is always time the midst of all this activity for a cup of coffee and that is a good time to look back over the year to ask what plants grew particularly well? Where did we see the best flowers or vegetables? Did some do not so well? Why was that? Did I plant them in the wrong position or not give them as much care and attention as they needed?
Perhaps now is also a good time to take stock of our own lives. Have we, like those beautiful roses I spoke about earlier in the year shown God’s glory in our lives and actions? Have we really shown our love for God by caring for our neighbour? Are there, like the sapling still some things buried which need to come out into the open; maybe things we would rather forget?
In short over the past year what have we done for God? Perhaps not very much or maybe we have embraced every opportunity willingly. I know that I fall somewhere in between!
So what can I do for God? On every packet of seeds there are instructions as to how and when to plant them and where they will grow the best, e.g. in full sun or in shade, in damp conditions or dry.
Like the seed packet my Bible, whichever version I use, lays out the instructions for my life quite clearly and simply when it says; Love God and love thy neighbour. Following those instructions and with God’s help we cannot go wrong.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years