Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)
TITLE: A Worthy Garden
By Sheila Arnott
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“How do you see your life?” This was the question Pastor posed at my Thursday night bible study group.
It was a good question, although it threw me for a loop as I was daydreaming about the nice, hot latte I could get from the donut place on my way home. Thankfully, others in the group offered up their answers and this helped to kick my brain into gear again.
“I see my life pretty much as a circus!”, Cathy told us, laughing. We all chuckled and nodded in agreement. She told us about how busy everyone is in her family. She and her husband both working, her two teenage boys busy with schoolwork, football and basketball practice. As she went on, I envisioned a sign that would hang over my own front door that might say, “CHAOS REIGNS HERE”, or something similar. I pictured some of the letters barely hanging on to the sign, as if to say, “Our lives are so chaotic that even the letters on our sign hang askew!”
From John, “I see my life as a journey.” “Mmmmm…good answer.”, I thought.
Someone else gave a metaphor of the seasons as representing her life, beginning with spring when we are awakening to the world and everything is growing rapidly. Summer being that time when our days are full and bursting with life. Our children fill their days with swimming and their warm nights with catching fireflies. The time is sweet and fleeting. Then comes autumn as we grow older, the children grow up and our bodies begin to change. Winter then, of course, is our final “season of life”.
“That’s beautiful.” I commented.
I was relieved that we ran out of time before it was my turn because I didn’t seem to have a metaphor for my life.
Later that evening, as I was en route to home, a steamy latte in hand, an idea came to me. Perhaps my life is like a garden. Mine would not represent the most looked after garden, but, I hope, it would be obvious there’d been some “tending to” there.
The overgrown patches of my garden would be “my issues”, and there’d be a few. The weeds would represent my sins, there in plain sight, but not without remedy…and they would be plentiful. But there would be flowers too. The flowers would exemplify the times in my life when I made the right choices, when I used the skill and knowledge God gave me to do His will instead of my own. To show me His pleasure at this, God poured out his love and approval in sunlight and soft rain. He gave my garden some flowers each Spring to remind me of His mercy and His grace, and they would grow right along with my weeds. Although I had tried to have control over my garden, it would be apparent that He was ultimately in charge.
There’s also some bare earth representing the free will He has granted me for my brief time in the garden, and whether this fertile ground will give rise to weeds or flowers remains to be seen.
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