Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:8 (NIV)
Each summer, for the past three summers, I plant a garden.
It seems like a frivolous thing to do when I live within a five minute drive of Costco and three major grocery stores that carry a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables year around. Not only do I live close to supermarkets, I live in Calgary, Alberta. That's in Canada. And while it's true that Canada has regions renowned for their produce, Southern Alberta isn't one of them. With a 110 frost free days a year, my gardening season is shorter than the NHL's off-season.
Still, every spring I wait for the snow to melt and head to the garden centre where I pick up seed packets (anything with the word "Alaska" on the label will do) and sometime in the first week of June, after the weeds have been pulled and bagged, I plant my zucchini, pea, bean, carrot, beet, onion, and potato seeds in my 30' x 20' plot. The tomatoes and lettuce go in containers on my deck.
I harvest a crop that is abundantly more than I planted.
As the only vegetable garden in a square mile of suburban homes, my kids and the neighborhood children experience the wonder of eating peas right off the vine, learn to eat carrots with a bit of dirt still on them, and stagger under the weight of monster zucchini.
And I encounter, through my small garden, the truth contained in so many of Jesus' parables. When Jesus taught, he spoke to people who understood sowing and reaping. He used the basic metaphor of planting and harvesting to teach about the kingdom of heaven.
…[The] one who received the seed that fell on good soil is the person who hears the word and understands it. He produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:21 (NIV)
Join me in my prayer this week:
Lord God, let me gladly receive your word so that you may produce an abundance of your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and, faithfulness in me. Help me know that it is you multiplying my small efforts. Amen
I look forward to reading your comments, but as I'm on my way home from Denver today, I won't comment until tomorrow. For sharing your gardening experiences and leaving your email address (like this: you [at] yourmail [dot] com) you could win a copy of Dakota's Child by Linda Ford. I’ll pick a winner at random on September 23rd.