Every worthwhile destination in this life requires a consistent, steady approach. This approach ought to be expected to be full of difficulties of all sorts.
Let us segment them out into two categories.
Challenges in the realm of:
1: Circumstantial obstacles
2: Moral character
Say we intend to build a garden.
It would be of no great surprise to expect that we will need to overcome a circumstantial obstacle if, at the moment, we have no seed. A garden without plants is sad, indeed. So, we simply must make the decision and take action in an effort to change the circumstances in our favor. We must acquire plants if we intend to create a garden. This physical boundary to the existence of a garden necessitates our interaction with one another. For if I am in need, I must seek out he which is in plenty.
To Home Depot I go.
In this vein, if you intend to homeschool, you must acquire a curriculum and materials. If you burst a pipe, you must find the leak and make the repair. If you are in debt, you must spend less, save and earn more. You and I do this sort of problem-solving of Circumstantial obstacles on a regular basis. It is the most elemental and common human experience.
However, a solitary one of us creatures, “a little below the angels,” can of our own accord accomplish very close to nothing on a larger scale. Operating en-masse, however, either intentionally or accidentally, we are of the mightiest forces here on the Earth. It is as though God made us in His image, with a heaven sized appetite for all things great and wonderful; hanging gardens and towers and airplanes and aqueducts, then, in a jolt of genius and mirth, He placed that heart and mind, his grand creative masterpiece, in a physical shell with a peapod of volume capacity for individual accomplishment. We must join together in “co-operation” to bring about the produce of our potential. We see this play out both for exceedingly abundant good and, leading us towards our second concern, for commiserating evil.
The second realm of challenge, concerning the morality of it all, throws the entire gardening comparison into the weeds, if you will. For despite our incomprehensible potential for great and good, “I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink,” we are frustratingly prone to every malady of contemptuous failure.
The joy of a Garden is not so much about the colors and shapes of plants as it is the outgrowth of one very simple, and unobstructed truth. Plants do not have the autonomous ability to make choices in conflict with their Creator’s design. They do not squabble amongst themselves and dither about in absent-mindedness, failing utterly as if they are not sure which way is best. They do not spend countless precious moments of their lives attempting to become a Sunflower if they are a Pine. They simply seek the Light. Each plant is constantly in the state of perfect adherence to its lower form of “Moral Character.” From whence the light shines is the direction their entire being is devoted, and as the Light above moves, a plant wisely adapts accordingly. Oh, how we ought to admire and contemplate the fingerprint of God’s divine intention for all of Creation. For we are but seeds in the Master gardener’s hands. Where He desires, we are cast down upon the ground. Oh, how we ought to pray that we land on fertile soil and praise His mighty name if we have taken root. Somehow, we know how we ought to be, as if through memory, and yet the parable of the Sower strikes us violently with a note of resounding familiarity. Human “seeds,” unlike our created second-cousins in the plant Kingdom, make choices, many of which are to the Gardeners eye, most detrimental.
Remain steadfast on the path. Similar to plants we must also work and strive to overcome our circumstances if we are to survive and thrive in our fullest bloom. If you need water, go get it. Unlike plants, we do have to make choices of moral character. We must choose often between Light and Dark. The Light often requires a willingness to make sacrifices of preferences and comfort in order that we may become disciplined in our adherence to the model of God’s created purposes for our lives. To become as our Gardener intends us to be, we must seek the light, yes, and we must also tread where others have gone before us, “co-operating” in the footprints of Jesus and those who call him LORD. The great opportunities and challenges of this life are not entirely new to the human story. “There is nothing new under the sun.” Where we are being called, others have been. Where the Body of Christ has laid down a pathway, we would be wise to join in and follow. “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:
“In an acceptable time, I have heard you, And in the day of salvation, I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” – 2 Corinthians 6:1-2