Pulpit Reflections by Rev. Mercy G. Hobbs It is that time of the year where many of us are spending a lot of time in our gardens. Shoots of vegetables and flowers we have planted are already many inches high. Visions of the harvest we will be hopefully reaping in the fall are a part of our daily thoughts. But wait a minute … what if we have planted too early and there's a late frost? Or too late and there's an early frost? Too much rain or not enough, too sunny, too cloudy, too hot or too cool, what's a person to do? Such great hopes and expectations and so much of it seems left to chance.
The Garden of Life where our souls are planted is not really so very different is it? Every year it seems as though we flip through the "Seed Catalogue" of life with the same optimism and excitement, making plans, changing them and making others, hoping this year to get it right and bring in a good harvest. Think of all the parables that Jesus used to teach us that used the metaphors of agriculture, of planting and harvesting, of pruning and cutting down, of great and of small.
We each have been given a garden and that garden is our very lives. We are each and every one of us called to work in that garden and to try and bring in a harvest that will be pleasing to God. To accomplish that, we must take our gardening seriously, while not leaving out the necessary fertilizer of laughter and silliness. Just as God is present in the gardens of our back or front yards, God is with us in the garden of our souls. We need to keep in touch with God on a daily basis through our conversations with him, which is our prayer life and the study of the Word, so that we can recognize his voice when he calls to us. It is God who will guide us and direct us in all that we do and is working shoulder to shoulder with us in the garden of our lives to bring in a bountiful harvest of the fruits of the spirit: love, justice, peace, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control.