“The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced.” –Matthew 13:22 (Read full Parable of the Sower)
These past few weeks I’ve been learning a lot about planting a vegetable garden. Coming from the city, I dabbled here and there with container gardening on my balcony or porch but, since I’ve been living in Madoc, I now feel a strong desire to start my own garden. I’ve been immersing myself in all the information I can find online and I’m grateful to have found many kind neighbours who are more than happy to help me get up to speed with what is needed to plan and start a successful garden. I’ve already bought some seeds, exchanged some seeds, and planted some seeds (with handy “Jiffy” starter kits) and I’m now in the process of planning out where my raised beds will go and what other seeds I’ll need to collect in order to complete my ideal garden.
At the same time, (being the eclectic woman that I am) I’m in the process of reading “Redeeming Your Time: 7 Biblical Principles for Being Purposeful, Present, and Wildly Productive” by Jordan Raynor, along with my Born To Fly Book Club. My initial approach to this book was merely to gain additional tools to become more productive but, after only 5 chapters, it has caused me to completely re-evaluate my entire philosophy and relationship with work and, more specifically, how I spend my time.
In a previous post, I explored the distinction between “career” and “calling”, and this process led me to an incredible, personal insight: Rather than approaching my profession/career/job as a means to feeling productive or paying my bills, I now realize that I do my best work when I’m feeling “called” to do it. This insight then led me to the amazing (but not surprising) discovery that my true callings are “Motherhood” and “Ministry”. From there, (with the help of this current book) I have now identified that one of my greatest visions for my call to Ministry is this:
‘Create Sanctuary where others can safely seek God’s Kingdom; Inspire and equip them to create Sanctuary in their own hearts and to do their most exceptional work for the glory of God and the good of others.’
That may seem like a pretty big vision but what’s really amazing about it is that it feels completely doable. Why? Because God has given us the most simple answer for how to approach this:
Through my experience of starting the seeds for my vegetable garden, I‘m witnessing the simple miracle of how God created these tiny seeds, containing within them everything necessary to replicate a whole new version of itself. And, as long as they land in the right environment, nature (or a nurturing gardener) provides everything the seedlings need to grow up strong and healthy.
As gardeners of our communities, we plant seeds every single day, in the world around us and in the hearts and minds of others. Every thought we think, every word we speak, and every action we take matters. We have influence, which is why we have to be very mindful about the kinds of seeds we are planting, and our effect on the environment in which they grow.
This means taking personal responsibility for our own level of self-awareness, for what we believe, for what we stand for; for what we say “yes” to, both directly and indirectly; for what we do and say, for what we worry or complain about, for what we abdicate from; for who we blame; for who we support; for the relationships we cultivate… Whether we realize it or not, all these things have an impact on the world around us.
For me, this means waking up every morning and asking God how He wants me to spend my time. If my vision is to create Sanctuary and inspire others, I want to be sure that I am not wasting even a second of my precious, God-given time on anything that will undermine this purpose. I realize that this is a huge undertaking and, like any good garden, it will require quite a bit of planning, preparation and discipline but, with each baby step, I am redeeming more of my time to spend on things that matter to me and, more importantly, to God.
It’s still a work in progress, but so far, my takeaways are: to only sow what I want to reap; to be relentless in weeding out anything that will compromise my “garden”; to tend to my Godly priorities and the relationships that matter most; to have faith in the process and to remember that the harder seasons cultivate resilience.
Tracy and Born To Fly Team