“The one who sows the good seed
is the Son of Man;
The field is the worlds,
And the good seeds
are the children of the kingdom;
The weeds are the children of the evil one.”
Matthew 13: 37-38
Ah, Summer time!! Most of the planting is done. Now it’s time to sit back and let God do all the work. As the days get longer and hotter my focus changes, I relax in the garden. Yes, I just watch the flowers grow. It may sound strange but now is the time to play in the garden. Yes, dare to walk barefoot in the grass, make a crown or necklace of flowers, bring armfuls of flowers inside, create a scavenger hunt for guests and have a campfire.
Summertime, for me is a time to find a balance between rest and work. Life can be so serious! I need to take a step back, and find the lighter side of things. In Scripture the serious passages that keep me on my toes are always there. I need to find the texts that are lighter, that lift my soul to heaven. For example:
The just shall flourish like the palm tree,
Like a cedar of Lebanon shall they grow.
They that are planted in the house of the Lord
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall bear fruit even in old age;
Vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the Lord,
My Rock, in whom there is no wrong.
Yes, I know there is work to do in the summer also. These tasks may include: weeding, staking, edging, maintaining of the paths, and harvesting. Each of these tasks in turn brings its own prayer questions to mind. What behaviors do I need to weed out of my behavior patterns? Where do I need support and protection? What boundaries do I need set to maintain in my relationships? How can I keep the edges straight when I try to bend into what I think other people want of me? What are the fruits of my labors, (both seen and unseen)?
During the “dog-days of summer” I rejoice in my favorite plants, the ones that are always included in the vegetable garden or the flower bed (the Black Eyed Susans, Snap Dragons, Geraniums, and Tomatoes). In her book The Sacred Garden: Soil for the Growing Soul, Patricia Barrett challenges us to look at the people in our lives that are our “old favorites.” She asks; “Are there people in our lives that we take for granted? Who are those people who are always there when we need them and who keep up friendship under any circumstance? Have we told them lately what they mean to us? Or have we just treated them as ordinary occurrences in our lives?
Help me to cultivate the garden of my own soul, God. Teach me to recognize the parts of my personality that hold me back from giving all I can give and hold me back from receiving all I am capable of receiving.
- Maintain the paths:
Walking a path many times can become a way of prayer, a communion of spirit with God under the spell of the beauty of the garden.