“I think I need to stick to plants,” I confessed to my husband the other night. Looking forward to this summer’s expected “bumper crop” of zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes and watermelon, I finally had to face up to a grave disappointment … I’m apparently not a farmer. [smile]
Having added up my investment in this year’s “harvest,” the actual cost per product equaled out to a horrendous price of $15.00 per zucchini. After all my hard work, constant care, planting and transplanting, and “dreams” of enjoying a huge crop, reality hit hard. … Out of 30+ plants, all I’ve been able to “harvest” yielded:
• two 6-inch zucchini,
• 6 beefsteak tomatoes that reached the maximum size of 1-1/8 inches,
• 8 watermelon of the average size of 1-1/2 inches (although one did grow to almost 2 inches in diameter), and
• my eggplants haven’t even flowered.
What happened! Where did I go wrong?
I apparently still have a lot to learn about vegetable gardening, especially hydroponic or potted plants. I’ve heard before that a plant (or even a fish) with grow to its fullest potential, if given the appropriate space in which to grow.
When I was younger, my father raised fancy-tail guppies. At one point he had twenty fish tanks! One summer he decided to build them a swimming pool in the back yard so that their tails would grow even larger than before. That bent us out of shape, I can promise you. “How come the fish get a swimming pool?” we asked. … A long story short, it worked. Giving them the space they needed, they produced and reproduced some of the most beautiful “fancy tails” I ever seen. My dad was quite pleased.
As I stood in my backyard last night, evaluating my lack of a “bumper crop,” I came to the realization that while I gave my plants a fair amount of space, – I didn’t give them enough space. So we all missed out. What I thought was “sufficient” (trying to keep my costs down), and even while trying to give them the nutrients and protection they needed in order to grow, I failed to give them the “space” they needed. Their pots were too crowded. In trying to “save,” I lost the opportunity to see what they could become.
Spiritual growth comes to us in many ways – either as the gardener, or as the “fruit.” Even Jesus, having come to complete what the Father needed Him to do, realized that unless He moved on, the Holy Spirit couldn’t make a difference in the lives of those choose to trust Him with their lives. Listen to what Jesus said, …
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal” (John 12:23-25, The Message).
God’s plan is that everyone would come to know Him, to know His love and forgiveness in their lives. But we’ll never find Him if we don’t “let go” of what we think is right, and fail to give Him the space He needs to work in our lives. … My prayer is that you’ll move outside of the “box” of religion, and open yourselves up to a relationship with Him – enjoying all He has created you to be, … to the glory of His name. Oh, there are still general “rules” for gardening, certain “techniques” that serve to produce a “bumper crop.” … But the trick is allowing ourselves the “space” we need to grow into His likeness, the way He created to be.
Basha Zackavich, Chaplain
Anchor Care and Rehab Center, Palm Bay