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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

To the Garden
Date Posted: May 14, 2005

In my kitchen hangs an antique picture titled "The Little Gardener". My great-grandfather won it as a prize for selling garden seed over one hundred years ago when he was just seven or eight years old.

I had never noticed it in Granddad's home. But after he died, my grandfather brought it home and hung it in the family room. From that time on I always told him how much I loved the picture and that I would like to have it someday.

I've never learned anymore about it. The frame is likely as old as the picture, the glass wavy. A young boy wearing overalls and a straw hat, holding a hoe. A small wooden wheelbarrow nearby stands ready to bear the bounty.

It evokes precious memories of of my great-grandfather, who wore a similar hat when he worked outside or went fishing, and my grandfather, who always wore overalls for farming and gardening. Both loved to work the earth and were both masters at it.

When you hail from a long line of farmers and gardeners, it's supposed to be in the blood. But I'm not much of a gardener. I don't like bugs. I don't like heat and humidity. I don't like my back to hurt.

I do love fresh vegetables and flowers. As long as someone else grows them. I'll help pick and freeze the vegetables, cut and arrange the flowers, even get my hands dirty planting. Just don't ask me to get anything to grow. I'm content with the results of someone else's work.

Sadly, this is too often true in our spiritual lives. We are content to let someone else do the growing and even the discipling. And, hey, spill some of that fruit this way if you don't mind!

God is the Master Gardener. He gives us the ability to grow and the assorted tools we need to nurture others. Just as many gardeners have their specialty -- whether watermelon or prize roses -- God has many types of fields for us to work and a variety of souls to be harvested.

1 Corinthians 3:5-9 tells us, "-- as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building."

So as you work your garden this season, or enjoy the fruits of someone else's garden, reflect on the garden of souls around you and ask God which soil is fertile for planting and who needs water.

To the garden!

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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