I do not have a green thumb. I don’t even have a plastic one. Seriously, I have a vase with fake flowers that I have knocked over so many times one blossom now sits at a perpetual 90 degree angle. So, my expertise in gardening is lacking somewhat. But I do have what I call a faith garden that I’d like to tell you about.
Stick with me on this analogy and I hope it will all come together.
In the movie City Slickers (1991), Curly tells Mitch the secret of life. “One thing. Just one thing.” Mitch asks, “What is the one thing?” To which Curly replies “That’s what you have to find out.” Now, I’m not going to profess I know what that “one thing” is for everyone but I will give a suggestion on one thing that may be a lifetime pursuit. That is to be a good person.
I recently read a cute little post about how sunflowers use each other for support on cloudy days. According to the post, when the sun isn’t out the flowers nod to each other for support. Of course, it was supposed to be a lesson about us needing each other. I thought it was cool but two seconds of checking on it led me to believe it is not true. Sunflowers do not tilt toward each other on cloudy days. What they do instead is still a lesson to us, just not the intended lesson the post suggested.
We are all probably familiar with the 10 Commandments. Whether we believe that they are from God, guidelines to a better life, or a nuisance is up to each of us. As I thought about the commandments God has given us I realized none of us are on the same path. There are at least four different levels of obedience. Let’s use the example of taking cookies out of a cookie jar to demonstrate each level.
I believe God hears and answers prayers. I firmly believe this and can’t be swayed. However, the answer may not come as expected. Sometimes we get those sweet tender mercies. And sometimes we are asked to “cowboy up.” To cowboy up is a phrase we use a lot in Wyoming. It means to “make a determined effort to overcome a formidable obstacle” (Google Dictionary). When the answer comes as the latter, we can still take comfort and learn a couple of things.
I finally conceded I needed to give the table away. It is a big (by today’s standards) kitchen table probably built in the 1940’s. All wood, it is heavy and cumbersome. Not really designed for today’s compact modern world. But for me giving it away was a difficult decision because it represented a dream unfulfilled. Although I have lived long enough to know the importance of plan B’s in my life, giving up on a long held dream is not an easy thing to do. I took comfort in the fact that the table not only represented a plan B in my life, but it must have also been similar for my grandma nearly 55 years earlier. We are connected with this broken table and broken dreams. At least, that’s what I tell myself.
You probably remember this as well as I do. At the start of the United State’s lockdown to “flatten the curve” when we all started quarantining in our homes a few celebrities put out a video of them singing John Lennon’s Imagine. While the song has a pretty tune, it did not bring me any comfort. No offense to any Lennon fans out there but imagining “there’s no heaven” is not a comforting thought. Especially at the beginning of my first pandemic. For me, it is actually a depressing thought.