I know, it’s Summer. I should be reveling about the beauty and warmth of this season. But, it seems to me as we begin our time together that Spring is more fitting a metaphor.
Gardening and Spring Cleaning have similar early stages. Spring is usually the time for tilling and planting – garden work. It’s also the time for spring cleaning – house work.
There’s the dreaming and planning stage. Don’t you love it when the snow is still on the ground and the Flower and Seed catalogues start arriving! All the colors, all the varieties! What new flower or vegetable to try this year? In what flowerbed or corner of the garden? Hey, why not a whole new garden? I’m not much of a gardener anymore but I truly enjoy the process of cleaning. Crazy – I know! For me, it’s Lehman’s catalogue! The organic cleaning products, the non-electric kitchen and household equipment! I dream of owning a hand wringer washer like my Grammy Jennings’ had.
Next comes the chaos stage. Things don’t always work the way you thought it might but somehow (maybe God’s Grace) it works out. Now where did I put that tool the last time I used it? I remember have a dozen of these left over, where are the other 8? Frost! in MAY! The peas are going to be late! When I clean house I sometimes get the urge to MOVE things – this comes from my mother’s genes! First the chair gets moved to the opposite corner, then the end table, then… oh, let’s just switch the dining room and living room! No kidding – that’s what I did Friday before catching the boat to the mainland. David’s learned to simply turn a light on before entering a dark room. Eventually, the “bugs” and the “wrinkles” get worked out.
Thank goodness, after chaos comes – the Enjoyment stage!!! The fragrance and fruitfulness of the garden. The sweetness and settledness of the house. Ah yes, this is why I do this! Still there’s different work to do but there’s the enJOYment!
And so it is with the Life of Faith and the Life of Christian Community. We begin our ministry together in July – Summer, but perhaps it’s really our Spring. Let’s dream and plan and listen for God’s voice to guide us, and when things get a bit chaotic or confusing may God’s Grace Abound in each of us to help us flow with the Spirit. Through all the hard work and second starts we will have Joy! Lots and lots of Joy! God promised!
Together, and with God at our side, let us make our “garden” grow and build our “house” with many, many rooms!
Grace and Peace,