Paying the Price for Being Absent from the Garden
Ed, my neighbor next door, has been pointing from his yard at my garden and shaking his head. “While you were off camping, your garden had every kind of weed in for a party. Now it’s up to you to throw them out, or they will stay till snow flies,” Ed commented.
“Easier said than done,” I replied. “Evicting the weeds from my garden will take stubborn determination. I’ve had to adjust from camping mode to hoeing the garden mode. Those thriving weeds mean twice as much hoeing as a result of my neglect. My spirit has been willing, but my gumption’s been low. You would understand the challenge if you actually gardened yourself. When a garden gets overrun with weeds, the fun of gardening becomes arduous work instead of pleasant exercise. It’s like going into a war zone with a primitive weapon, a hoe while being outnumbered by invading weeds a thousand to one,” I said.
“Gardens are a forbidden zone for me as they make me feel trapped and too close to the ground. I’m free and proud on a tractor but miserable and dangerous in a garden with a hoe,” Ed said. “No point in ruining summer by keeping a garden,” he added.
Summer weather motivates people to do enjoyable activities while the weather is pleasant. It is finding a balance between what we like to do and what we need to do. If I camp too long away from home, the weeds take over the garden, and I will have to hoe extremely vigorously to clean them out. The only other answer would be to give the garden over to the weeds, which in itself, provokes me to get hoeing.
Summer comes with a short expiration date. There is the great challenge of fitting in the fun activities like golfing, fishing, swimming, camping, and holidaying before summer has moved on for another year. The greatest challenge is keeping faithful to the activities that will keep blessing us long after the summer is over. Like garden produce picked and stored in the freezer during the summer for the winter, we need to remember God’s word is to be harvested at church in the summer.
Summer often produces a whole crop of Christians that quit laying up the food of God’s word and His life-sustaining supper in their lives. They act as if ignoring God for the summer is good for them, instead of being spiritually harmful. They are like a garden untouched by a hoe for the whole summer. Without God’s word, there is no recognition of sin or call for repentance, forgiveness and compassion. Gardens are not planted and then forgotten during the summer. Why plant a garden if you will not be faithful to it, hoe it, water it and be blessed by what it produces?
Can Christian folks ignore the worship of God, His word, and His fellowship at church during the summer? Of course, they can – but is it wise? Most workers cannot afford to take the summer off and stay away from work. They need their paychecks. We need to honor God and attend our churches every season. Summer shouldn’t make our church attendance a dead zone.