M: Making Stuff Grow
Today I planted a container garden out on my apartment balcony! Well…I got about halfway done and ran out of containers, so I’ll finish tomorrow. I’m attempting three kinds of lettuce, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, jumbo jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and cucumbers. (I think that’s it….) And of course while I was planting I had a profound realization: if I expected anything to grow, I first had to create a space and atmosphere where it could grow. I had to prepare containers and soil in a place accessible to sunshine and water. And lo and behold, another famous Grower of stuff came to mind….
There is a really cool theology book called Portraits of God by Allan Coppedge. In it the author examines eight key roles in which God appears in both the Old and New Testaments to reveal Himself to us. The eight roles God plays in Scripture are King, Revealer, Priest, Judge, Father, Redeemer, Shepherd, and Creator. In His role as Creator He grows stuff.
Genesis and Revelation both describe God as Creator, and Coppedge says He also appears elsewhere “doing Creator-like things”. The “sub-roles” of the Creator God in Scripture describe Him as Cultivator (Gardener), Builder, and Potter. As Cultivator, in Genesis He created Eden; Isaiah 5 and John 15 picture Him as a Vinedresser; and the Gospels refer to Him repeatedly as “the Lord of the harvest.” In reference to His work among His people Israel, God said to David in 2 Samuel 7:10, “I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place.”
So apparently God is really good at preparing a place for stuff (and people) to grow and flourish.
One of my New Year’s Resolutions this year was to “bloom where I am planted.” (I got this terminology from a mentor whose mother gave her the same advice years ago.) Basically, I get my britches in a knot fairly often about what the future holds – what is my next step? When do I need to take it? (etc.) To bloom where I am planted is to remain in this moment of my journey for as long as it lasts. The journey isn’t only about the destination; it is about all the moments that make it up. Life is about living – day by day, moment by moment. I will talk about this idea a little more in depth in my “Z” post, but suffice it to say, I am learning to take root wherever I find myself. I may be transplanted in the future, but until then, I intend to enjoy life and make memories with the people I find around me now. That’s what makes life. That’s what keeps me growing and healthy.