Monday, October 12, 2009

you can’t beat a long cut

I am a bit of a vegetable garden fan. In my garden I find God, I contemplate ethics (see here and here). Viewing gardens tends to inspire me about the shape of church and possibilities for worship. It has helped frame our mission, for example here.

After a 16 day absence, my vegetable garden got some well-deserved attention today. The winter compost got spread. The early potatoes got mounded up in case of early frosts. Vegetables got harvested: peas, brocolli, silver beet, spinach, broad beans, cauliflower. Summer vegetables got planted: lettuce, beans, quick growing cabbage, early tomatoes. As a family, we now very rarely buy vegetables, such is the extent of our home garden.

After, I finished, I sat in the late afternoon sun, enjoying a beer and some peas picked straight from the garden. It struck me that none of this comes quick. There are no shortcuts. Compost takes time. Peas and broccoli need to be planted in autumn. It is a few hours a week, and slow and steady, over the year the garden takes shape.

Which probably says something about the spiritual life and the shape of ministry. We live in an instant age and expect instant results. Yet compost now enhances a sermon in a year or two. Seeds take time to mature. Pausing for moments of reflection and prayer lend sustainability. Savouring, like freshly picked peas, the God-moments that are changed lives nourishes hope. Here’s to the long cuts of ministry!

Posted by steve at 08:53 PM


  1. Jesus seemed to speak a lot about growing but it was, as far as I can remember, all about slow growth – with the exception of weeds which appeared in the paddock overnight. Perhaps it says something about goodness growing slowly and evil’s ability to appear very quickly.

    Comment by Chris Bedford — October 13, 2009 @ 4:14 pm

  2. As Adam and Eve found out it is possible to find both God and the devil in the garden. Unfortunately I tend to only find the later!

    Comment by Aaron — October 13, 2009 @ 5:02 pm

  3. Aaron,

    you spend too much time in the front of the book (Genesis 3). Turn to the end of the book. Open Rev 22. The New Jerusalem as a beautiful orchard with trees for healing of nations. Feel the love. Find the endtimes!


    Comment by steve — October 13, 2009 @ 5:04 pm

  4. Yeah I once even preached a message at youth about gardens of the bible, a brave topic for youth!!Sadly my excitement about all the walled gardens of the bible hasn’t transferred to my our own garden, Sarah is def the green fingers round here

    Comment by Aaron — October 14, 2009 @ 4:48 pm

  5. thanks so much for this post which has helped to explain to me why I love gardens and find them so satisfying – even if my own is a bit of a wilderness at the moment – my gardener is in hospital ..

    Comment by jane — October 17, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

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