This week I had the opportunity to visit a couple of parishioners' homes to bless them* and spend some time with their families. One of the families had a garden in their backyard. The great effort of setting up plant boxes, preparing proper soil and caring for the various crops was on display in the multitude of healthy vegetables and even fruit trees.
I'm told that maintaining a garden or a plant farm is a great joy (I wouldn't know; more often than not I unintentionally send plants to their eternal reward...). One of the most necessary virtues there is is perseverance. There might be a late cold snap that kills the newly sprouted stock. The soil might be ill-prepared for what you're trying to grow or the local animals may discover how much they enjoyed visiting your property now that you're maintaining a free buffet.
False starts and failure are in evitable. A good farmer simply tries again, perhaps burying the seed, perhaps treating the soil or safeguarding the grounds.
I recently heard a neat saying: "there is no failure, only feedback". And who better to respond to our feedback than the one who is the most perseverant of sowers?
We are blessed to be able to cooperate with the sower in ways ordinary soil cannot. Past faults to receive His gifts and graces are freely forgiven when we come to confess them. Future opportunities can be anticipated by our drawing near to Him, especially in the Eucharist and in daily prayer. With Gods help, we can be made into rich soil and produce many fruits from all that He showers on us.
* Have you had your house blessed yet? It's a wonderful grace and a great opportunity for us to get to know each other - if not, please give me a call sometime at the office! (253-383-4549 x102)