To be a good gardener, two things are important; effort and patience. Tremendous effort must be put into preparing the earth, weeding and watering; and the gardener must also know when to stop, allow for things to take their course and patiently let the suns power bring forth fruit.
Every human spirit is called to be a gardener- a spiritual gardener. For the deep secret that our gospel speaks of this week (Lk 8) is that every human heart has received a seed – the seed of Christ’s being in you. The soul is soil, dear friends, and our spirit’s task is to learn to tend the seed of God in our hearts. This calls for tremendous effort; giving it water and weeding the soil of our souls. We water the seed of god in us with our spiritual practice; communion at the altar, contemplative study, learning to pray. We water this seed through loving deeds towards one another and towards the earth.
And we must also learn to weed our souls. For it is vital that the seed of Christ in us not be choked by inner weeds of blame, envy, greed, deceit, anger and selfish desire. These weeds must be recognized in us and continually pulled, if the holy seed is to grow.
But above all, the inner gardener in us is called to learn to stop working, take a Sabbath day, surrendering to what is, for it is in ‘allowing’ that sun power of god can work. In an age so focused on production, efficiency and results; patient surrender is our task and our medicine. For at the end of the day it is grace that grows the seed for the gardener and we must learn to get out of the way.
Wise effort and patient surrender…this is the curriculum for the human spirit. May we let God do the rest.
This contemplation by Rev. Evans is inspired by the parable of the sower, Luke 8.