I decided to plant a garden this year for several reasons:
1. It would be good to get outside with the kids instead of sitting in the house.
2. It would be good family time, especially when I get home in the evening.
3. There would certainly be some “life lessons” to be learned.
4. I love vegetables!
What I learned however was that there is a lot of Theology in gardening.
First, gardening is hard work and you must count the cost. Today, there is pre-emerge, coverings (both of these are to keep grass from coming up), hybrid seeds, sprinklers, sprays, fertilizers, etc…but know matter what you have, it is still hard work. Keeping a garden up is relentless and the moment you take your focus off the garden it gets overtaken by something; bugs, heat, drought, fungus, or in my case kids playing hide & seek. When, I returned from Israel after a two week trip, I almost decided to throw in the towel, some plants were dead, some over grown, some had fallen over, they all had bugs; instead I got with it and saved most of my work and was able to return my garden to fruitful and productive state. I spent countless hours in the evening cultivating, spraying, pulling weeds, and pruning plants in order for this to happen. If I was going to be a gardner, I had to count the cost of what being a gardner really meant; otherwise I was never a gardner to begin with.
The same is true about Christianity, being a follower of Jesus is not for the fainthearted. There is a cost to following Christ. I was reminded of this while in Israel, Jesus never equated being a disciple with being easy, on the contrary he always described being a disciple as costly. There is really no option biblically, being a disciple of Jesus is costly, however for most Christians this is never taught and many are never told that following Christ and being his disciple will be costly.
“Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. ” (Luke 14:25–27, ESV)
“So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple. ” (Luke 14:33, ESV)
“For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? ” (Matthew 16:25–26, ESV)
Look for part two later this week….