“I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden.” –John Erskine
I was out planting bulbs this weekend in beautiful weather, amazed that I could be doing such work in the middle of November. I had the help of Joshua, my oldest son, so I didn’t have to work as hard as usual. He dug the holes and I planted and watered. He probably thinks I’m silly as I talk to the bulbs, tucking them into their dirt bed to sleep until spring, to then work their magic as they poke their green fingers up out of the snow.
Such a bright welcome sight they are after the gray of winter. And now that I have bees and know what an important source of food those spring flowers are, I like them even more. Though it is always work to plant them in the fall, come spring, I am always glad I did. One fall I planted over 100 bulbs. This time, only a few dozen, but over the years they add up to a beautiful scene..
Here are some lessons from the bulbs:
- It is good to invest in things in which we have to wait to see results. In a society of instant gratification, we need to practice devoting ourselves to the future. The mother who patiently pours herself into her children, with little immediate reward, will someday enjoy the fruits of her labor as she sees her children become godly, responsible, useful adults. The husband who takes the time to be attentive to his wife will reap a fulfilling relationship not only now, but also later when the children have left the home and they are alone together again. My hubby recently returned from a trip to China, where he enjoyed walking a path lined with beautiful, century-old trees—the vision of an aged monk who planted them for future generations. Are you investing in the future?
- Little changes add up to big changes over time. Just as a few bulbs planted each year make for a beautiful show, so do little changes in other areas, too. My mom used to tell me, “It’s a cinch by the inch, but hard by the yard.” A little really does go a long way. To make major diet changes, alter a few eating habits at a time. To get more fit, start with just a few simple stretches and movements. To transform your family, begin with a few encouraging words. To memorize Scripture, start with one verse a week—in just one year, you’ll have memorized 52 verses! To change your attitude, be thankful for one thing each day.
- As I finger the dry, hard, dead bulbs, and marvel at the thought of the soft, alive, beautiful flowers they will become, I can’t help but think of God’s work in my life. He took me, a spiritually dead person, and made me alive. (Ephesians 2:1). He turned my hard heart that served itself into a soft heart that serves Him (Ezekiel 26:36). He planted me into His family and watered me with His Word so that now I can have the wisdom to live in a way pleasing and useful to Him. (Psalms 1) Without His work in my life as the Master Gardener, I would still be a dead, dry bulb.
So see if you can make the effort to plant some bulbs this fall, and reap the benefits for years to come.