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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Garden (09/07/06)

TITLE: The Bench
By Jesus Puppy


The Bench

Daily I walked past an old abandoned home on the edge of town. The roof was sagging for need of repair, paint chipped and peeled from old rough-cut siding. The driveway, overgrown with weeds, was no wider than a walking path that led back a hundred feet to the house. The windows were missing completely or nothing but thin slivers of broken glass. As you looked beyond the dead branches of the trees in front of the place, you could see the shape of the yard and the rotted form of what once might have been a garden bench.

Beside the crumbled porch roof, hanging by one remaining post, and the deck beneath seen as weathered sub-frame and nothing more, I received a slight view of the backyard. A lessening of the tall grass was the only sign of the patio, where weeds had forced their way through the cracked blocks. Hardly to be noticed while lost in the over-growth of trailing vines and shadows was the one solid piece to be found, though whether an old pillared fountain or perhaps a stone bird bath, one would not know until they cleaned away the wilted leaves.

Standing there seeing the neglect of years passed, I could not help but notice a common scene of my own life portrayed in the old place. Had my own path gotten to that point? Without the careful pruning and care of my spiritual garden, had I become so overgrown in the ways of the world, to be seen only as a shadow of what might have been good once, long ago?

Often man loses sight of the goodness in their lives simply by not keeping a well-trimmed walk. Weeds begin to grow, the beautifully set foundation is cracked and worn by time, breaking away completely as we let the world's view creep up around us unnoticed, until one day we are bogged down with choking vines and dead branches.

Scripture does warn us; "Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.''

But we need not lay down in our struggles, allowing our garden to be over-run by the snares in this life. We should not sit idol in our work, to be overcome by the world's sorrows, but keep in mind the blessing of the Lord, who tells us. . .

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne."

The old house was torn down the other day, to make room for a new business in our growing community. In a way, I found myself saddened. How often are the old Christian views set aside and neglected until they are seen as nothing more than a waste, to finally be removed for a better, more worldly acceptence. I pray my own garden remains trimmed and kept clean, that the glory of Him who made me will be seen for years to come.


(Scriptural context in order of appearence) Gen. 3:17-19, Rev. 3:20-21; from Ellis Maxima Bible Library Ver 6.0, Copyright- 1988-2001 by Ellis enterprises, Inc., NKJ Bible.

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This article has been read 1064 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 09/15/06
I love the way you wove together the story and the lesson, rather than covering one than moving on to the other. Much more effective this way, in my opinion! You did a superb job of describing the scene - I could definitely see it very clearly. Wonderful job!
Venice Kichura09/15/06
This is an excellent devotional entry!
Jan Ross09/16/06
A beautiful devotional wrapped up in a warm story. Very, very nice! Great job! :)
Dolores Stohler09/16/06
Your story is chock full of lessons we all need to learn as we journey through life. Don't we all lose sight of the goal of eternal life once in a while and focus on things that are less important? Makes you stop and think. Good job!
Donna Haug09/16/06
Good devotional. Just wondered about your title. You only briefly mentioned the bench and it wasn't a big player in your story. Very good lessons though.
Val Clark09/21/06
Great description with a lesson well applied. Also like that you apply it to yourself rather than just preaching. Have a think about changing third person to first person in the beginning paragraph. ie 'you could see'. yeggy
Sharlyn Guthrie09/21/06
Wonderful visualization of spiritual truth! I'm glad that I saw your hint and read this. I will be concious today, especially, of tending my spiritual garden. Great writing!