Paused in the Planting

I’ve never had green thumbs, which I’m sure saddens my city-farmer father’s heart. He always found space, regardless of the size of our backyard, to till the earth, plant some seeds, and tend them until there was something to harvest. He loves not only to watch things grow, but he also loves to help them grow.

 I love the harvest but didn’t inherit the love for getting my hands dirty. I would forget to water, or I’d overwater. Don’t forget the sunshine. Even indoor potted plants need sunlight. I’m not sure if the issue was too much or too little.

Either way, my plants didn’t last too long.

Every so often, I’d receive a potted plant for Christmas, and I tried to keep it alive until St. Paddy’s Day, but it would be gone before I had finished my Valentine’s Day chocolate.

Year after year.

Until one day, I found a countertop contraption called Click and Grow (no, this is not a paid advertisement). It’s a cool gadget, and I love my gadgets. It has little pods with seeds already in them. A reservoir with several weeks’ worth of water and a bobber to let you know when it needs to be refilled. A light source with a timer ensures it gives all the sunshine it needs. It’s a foolproof way of growing a garden indoors on your kitchen counter.

I have two of these contraptions.

Over the years since I discovered this masterpiece, I’ve tried new herbs. I’ve grown green and red peppers in my kitchen. Mini strawberries and tiny tomatoes. More cilantro and chives than you could fathom. Some herbs I discovered I do not like fresh, I prefer them dried, and others I could pick and eat right off the plant.

Sometimes I have planted a pod on a Monday and let it blossom over the next few days just to let it grow wild, so I could watch it while it grew. I had become so much like my farming father.

Until this summer’s vacation.

I was leaving for an extended season- so I cleaned up my garden. Most of the plants had run their course. Their roots had gone wild, and they were going to seed. They needed a complete harvest, and fresh pods needed to be planted. But I would be away for six weeks, and I didn’t want to miss any moments of the growth cycle. I unplugged the now clean Click and Grow, and it sat idle on the kitchen counter.

The weeks of vacation flew by. I arrived home. The business of life took hold.

Unpack, laundry, kids camp prep, assignments (yes, I am in school), all the things that filled up my time. Still, my Click and Grow sat vacant. There was nothing planted, nothing sprouting, nothing to watch.

I thought about how often my walk with God is just like this. I finally discover something God says about me. I uncover something new in His Word or His plans for my life. I get into a rhythm with reading my Bible, spending time in His Presence, and trusting Him no matter what, no matter the circumstances.

Then something comes along. Good, bad, neutral. Something. It comes along and changes that newfound rhythm. It challenges that revealed truth from His Word. It calls into question the plans He has revealed. My focus shifts for a moment. The momentum changes.

There is a pause in the planting

There is a pause in the growing.

There is a pause in the obedience.

There is a pause in listening to his voice.

How long does it take for me to realize that this has happened?

How long does it take for me to stop and go back to listening, obeying, the planting?

Ecclesiastes 3 talks about how there is a time for everything. It lists what types of things there is a time for. Verse one says.  

To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Now, I am not one to pick and choose verses as I go, but tonight this one popped into my head as I was writing. It only has four words buried right there in the middle of verse two (you should read the whole thing to get the context later)

“A time to plant”

Tonight, I put down my pen from my notepad, got up from my table, walked into the kitchen, and began planting pods again. I can’t wait to see what these seeds sprout.