Life here at the CowChows is pretty laid back today. The sun is shining; the breeze is blowing; and all God’s children are at peace, at least for the moment.
Gardens are funny things. We’ve got a little plot out back where we planted a small garden just to grow some tomatoes and peppers and squash for the dinner table. We did our best to place it in just the right spot where it would benefit most from the rains and would get just the right amount of sunshine. We prepared the soil; we water it frequently; we’re careful to keep the weeds out and the insects under control. Occasionally, we give it a little boost of fertilizer when the leaves start to look pale. LadyBug even talks to the plants and tells them how proud she is when they bloom and set new fruit. Our little garden does pretty well, and while we haven’t had an overabundance we have had fresh produce on the table all summer.
But then, there’s this other tomato plant. It came up volunteer on the other side of the house. It’s right next to a concrete walkway in hard packed earth; it’s in shade most of the day, and has struggled all summer against creeping ivy and overshadowing shrubs. I haven’t so much as given it a drink of water, and except for pulling off a few tomato worms it has grown entirely on its own. The thing is, this tomato plant is laden with tomatoes that are bigger, more tender and richer in flavor than those we have so carefully cultivated.
So, why the difference? We gave our little garden everything it needed to grow and prosper, and it provided just enough to keep us fed. While the plant on the other side of the house has thrived against all odds and produces an abundance of delicious fruit.
Is the difference due to the struggle? Do we, perhaps, flourish most when our accomplishments require our greatest efforts? Or, do we prosper and flourish most when we allow nature to guide us into the proper circumstances which will enable us to grow?