By Chaplain (Capt.) Jeff Crispin
Special to GUIDON
I enjoy a bit of gardening, and it is the time of year that I’m starting to see some return on my efforts.
Seeds that were planted are growing above ground and I can start to anticipate what I’ll be eating from my backyard garden.
I think there are some great life principles that can be learned from gardening. Here are a few that come to mind.
Sowing and reaping
You or I can’t plant carrot seed and produce corn on the cob. What I plant, is what I will receive in the right amount of time. I can’t plant spending all my waking hours on my career and expect to reap a strong relationship with my spouse and kids, nor can I plant all my free time in entertainment behind a screen and expect a healthy crop of friends. We reap what we sow.
Farming takes faith
We can buy seeds or small plants at the store, but that is no guarantee that they will produce. We buy those things and do the work to allow them to “do their thing” in hope of success that we can influence, but can’t control. The weather, insects, and more all have ways of suddenly making our efforts and investment fail. We know that, but we do it anyway in belief that there will be rewards.
I have yet to have anything I’ve ever planted grow up overnight and have produce the next day, no matter what brand seed or fertilizer I use. I read recently, that those who plant vineyards to produce wine won’t receive any income for eight years, and won’t realize a profit for 15 to 20 years. Some of the most important things in our lives take time to get the results we want, even with the best intentions and efforts.
So, while this isn’t a complete list of important life principles to be learned from a patch of dirt, a few hand tools and some seeds, I hope you get the idea.
Forrest Gump famously said that “Life is like a box of chocolates…” but I prefer to think of life as a garden. How is yours growing?
(Editor’s note: Crispin is the 5th Engineer Battalion chaplain.)