Friday, October 3, 2008
The Garden of Life
Several months ago I stood in front of my garden plot and stared at the piles of dirt that lay there waiting to be plowed and prepared for planting the seeds that I held in my hand. I envisioned the juicy tomatoes and the crisp corn that would come later that summer and fall. Now it is October and I again stand in front of the same garden with the same pile of dirt, after enjoying a wonderful summer and fall of enjoying fresh vegetables.
My wife just recently gave birth to our third child, our first boy, Dawson. His life is similar to my garden. He is just starting his life out similar to the seeds that I held in my hand. He has incredible potential and can do a lot of good in his life if he is cultivated and given the proper nutrition both spiritually and physically. Just like the soil is prepared in the garden, my wife and I must have a strong marital foundation and happy, enjoyable place for Dawson to start his life in. The preparation that should be made prior to having a baby is vital so he can come to a place that is spiritually prepared and ready. In this state, he can grow and be the best possible person he can be. Cultivating and preparing the soil for the seeds to be planted in our gardens can surely also apply to raising our own baby seeds in the soil of life.
Once the soil is prepared in my garden, I then plant the seeds and apply water and sunlight. These seeds are very fragile and can be molded into a very productive and fruitful seed or a seed that will whither away and be taken away by the storms and winds that will surely come. My baby boy, Dawson, is fragile in a similar way. The things that we teach him by example will influence his life from an early age to be a force for good and will hopefully put him on the path to productivity, just like the seed that is cared for and cultivated. Just as water and sunlight are absolutely essential for the seeds in the garden to grow; unconditional love, lots of praise, and a happy home are the requirements of a happy baby and child.
Now that the seed has penetrated the soil and is growing above ground, the weeds start to descend upon the garden and attempt to choke out the sunlight and hoard the water from the young seedlings, which have now become plants. These weeds must be removed or they can take over each of the plants and eventually the whole garden. The weeds must be removed on a regular basis and the roots must be dug up completely or the weeds will come back as quickly as they are removed. In our child’s life there will be temptations and discouragements and times when it feels like the weeds of life are choking him and ruining his spirit. We need to teach our children that these can be removed, just like weeds, by repenting and partaking of the Lord’s sacrament each Sunday. We need to remember to repent fully or risk leaving the roots of sin embedded in our lives.
Once we remove these weeds from our lives we will find that our potential is great and that our fruits will bless the lives of others. Just like the fresh vegetables I enjoyed in my garden, we, too, can enjoy the fruits of our lives, and find the joy in sharing and giving of our lives to others. There will be a day when the harvest is complete and we will look back over our garden and have many wonderful memories of the sweet tastes of various vegetables and know that we overcame many different weeds in our life to be where we are today.
Life is very much like a garden. We all start out with an empty plot and can do with it what we please. Prepare your soil so that it will be ready for the seeds that you plant. Make sure and plant good seeds wherever you go in life. Give your seeds sunlight and water. Remove the weeds regularly and allow the seeds to turn into plants and to have a fruitful and productive life and allow them to give joy to others. We are all seeds in the Lord’s garden of life. He will cultivate our ground if we allow him. He will help us remove the weeds. He will be there through good times and bad. He will help us to be the best we can.
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