First Fruits

For several days, I watched fruit grow under the huge leaves of the zucchini plants in the garden.  Recent rains and summer weather had worked its magic and all I had to do was wait.

I’m not a patient person.

Waiting is hard for me.

But I did wait.  And, my waiting was rewarded.

When I waded into the waist high garden, I did so with determination and with focus.  Somewhere under the huge leaves hid treasures and I would have them.

Yes, I would – fresh…raw…on my salad…YUM!

The first plant yielded nothing but huge yellow flowers.  That’s okay, there were 11 more to look under.

With a shout of victory, I held a green zucchini high and silently thanked the Grower of them.

Down the row I went, pulling aside the itchy leaves, reaching between the prickly stems, carefully slicing the fruit from the stalk.

At the row’s end, I counted 3 yellow gooseneck and 5 zucchini squash gathered!

I was exuberant!

And, I was humbled.

These first fruits seemed holy.  I had not grown them.  Sure, I had prepared the bed and planted the seeds.  But, I wasn’t the one who instructed the seed on what to do and how.  I wasn’t the one who gave it life and empowered it to transform water and sunlight into life-giving fruit.

As I held the first fruits in my hand, I felt I should drop to my knees and worship the One who had.

What does one do with first fruits?

I decided to share half and keep the other half for my use.

As I reverently washed the squash and tenderly sliced it, I was thankful for the gift from the Grower.  And, as I placed the first bite in my mouth, I offered, “thanks again” before munching and crunching its goodness.

Gardening is, for me, a spiritual experience.

Before I could even leave the garden, I glanced at the knee-high okra and wished for a few tender pods to grill. Immediately, a passage in the Bible came to mind that warns of discontent and of desiring things we don’t have. Here I was, arms filled with blessings and my heart craved something else.

Contentment comes when we focus on the blessings we have and refuse to dwell on what we don’t have…wish we had…think we should have.

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