One spring, when I was in elementary school, I remember my mother planting a rather impressive garden in the backyard. She used long wooden beams to frame up rows of peas, carrots, squash, and zucchini. She had metal wires standing tall in the back, awaiting the climbing limbs of tomato plants. For a few days, my sister and I made an effort to assist in this noble endeavor, but I quickly grew tired of the hard work and hot days. It was not what I considered a fun way to spend my time. I’m not sure it was enjoyable for my mother either, but she saw the larger picture. She was looking forward to the harvest of fresh vegetables she hoped would sprout at their proper time.
The great care she took was noteworthy–from selecting the right seeds to the proper soil, monitoring the amount of sunlight, and adjusting watering days based on the weather. She knew it required a process of small steps to reach the ultimate goal.
I was impatient; a child to the game of waiting, not wanting anything but immediate results–to see the plants poking through the rich soil, full of life and promise, ripe with fragrance and flavor. I didn’t understand that it is within the journey where the joy begins. And that the quality of the beginning is a significant component of the end result. The seed aids in determining the variety, flavor, and size of the fruit. It’s an important part of the process and the result.
While I’m an admitted novice to gardening–and far from an expert on health and wellness, I do see how these topics appear to be rooted in an area where I have spent some time pursuing–that of the scriptures and the wonders of God, whom I don’t believe any of us will fully understand until the day we meet our Creator in all His glory. That being said, the imagery and symbolism of gardening are ripe within the Bible. The parables Jesus told often included the language of the land–from having faith the size of a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20-21) to the condition of the soil (Matthew 13:1-23) to staying connected to the vine (John 15:5-8), pruning for greater production (John 15:2), growth (v8), dealing with weeds and the harvest (Matthew 13:24-30). It is a process–which is often the case in my life–especially when I look for results in my health and fitness. As an aspiring amateur athlete, I have found it is the simple things–the seeds I plant in the fields of my days–which have the most significant results over time.
Spend time with Jesus–Bible study, prayer, worship, and Scripture memory.
Eat a salad every day / Limit processed foods and sweets.
Exercise–Move at least 30 minutes a day / Include weights.
Drink plenty of water–Measured containers can be super helpful.
Sleep–Aim for seven-eight hours each night
We reap what we sow–we harvest what we plant. The outcome of what we hope for can’t always be seen the moment we eat the salad or lift a kettlebell–it comes later. We do these things as an act of confidence that they will eventually pay dividends–that is walking by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) and something every good gardener knows.