09 April 2008

Gardening, Parables and Thoughts

We had two beautiful days of spring here. The redbud is in bloom, my patio peach tree is awash with deep coral colored blooms. My clematis is springing to life. There are daffodils and tulips blooming. Spring and fall are my favorite times of year here. The colors of the foliage are spectacular. Soon I hope to take a drive through the Smokey Mountains. They are simply stunning. Yesterday I ran errands, enjoyed the scenery and purchased some plants for my garden.

Today is overcast and we are likely to get some rain. As soon as I got up I got dressed in my gardening clothes, grabbed my tools and headed outside. I had some lovely and huge terracotta pots on my deck that had lavender growing in them. I managed to keep the lavender alive but the pots did not fare well over the winter. If the plants have any hope of survival they need to be in the soil before the terracotta crumbles away. I took my shovel out in the yard and dug two massive holes, one on each side of the rose bush I had planted last fall. Next I wrestled with the lavender and transplanted them to the holes. I also planted some gladiola bulbs, some snapdragons and some purple salvia. I put some herbs in what is traditionally a strawberry planter and put some bright pink and purple double stock plants in a resin pot on my deck. Stock smells sweet will blend beautifully with the pungent herbs that will be growing next to it. In my vegetable garden I've sown peas, spinach, swiss chard and onions. With all this accomplished, I am hoping for a light rain so I don't have to drag the hose out and water the things I have planted.

Gardening is therapeutic for me. I have half an acre of property that needs to landscaped. My home was built in the middle of what used to be someone's pasture. My lawn is Kentucky bluegrass, dandelions, nettles, wild carrots, wild onions and a host of weeds I have yet to identify. As I putter about, I generally try to think through things that are on my mind. When I started gardening my thoughts were occupied with the debate I have been listening to between James White and Steve Gregg. What started out as a productive exchange has devolved into something less than helpful. Today is the last day for the debate and I hope that it will return to being useful.

As I evaluated the debate, I worked at making the soil ready to receive the plants I was about to put in and my thoughts wandered to the parable of the sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4, Luke 8). I wonder if it is prideful arrogance that makes a man believe all men are fertile soil or is it wishful thinking? Knowing that all the seeds I have sown in my garden are not going to bring forth life or fruit didn't keep me from sowing them. Not knowing who the elect may be doesn't keep me from spreading the gospel in the same way. God is the giver of life, it is not up to me. Why do Christians so willingly accept that only God creates life in the womb, but deny eternal life is also His prerogative? Is it because we have had success in joining sperm and egg in a petri dish that we honestly believe man creates life, even his eternal life?

Why do some men have no problem with allowing God to choose Israel but Gentiles must choose Him first? How can they voice no displeasure at God's rescue of Lot and the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah but be infuriated if He chooses some to be saved from among other sinful towns now?

The rain has come and according to the forecast we are going to have rain over the next couple of days. This will be great for the things I have planted and for the weeds that will grow in competition with them. I must turn my thoughts to other things. I need to clean my house so when the rains stops I will be free to go out and pull weeds. I can't help but bring this verse to mind.

Matthew 5:45 in order that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on {the} evil and {the} good, and sends rain on {the} righteous and {the} unrighteous.

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