By Judy Brandon: CNJ columnist
My sister lives in Rochester, Minnesota. If someone were to walk down her street and around to the back of her house, there is one distinguishing thing that would make her house stand out. In the back of her house, on the deck on the second story of her home, Susie has a virtual garden. The plants are huge. I know this because I have seen pictures. They get so tall they line the deck walls and when her family is sitting at the table on the deck, they are hidden from the world amidst a jungle of tomato and various herb plants. She admitted something to me the other day. She has enjoyed her pots of vegetables immensely this summer. Many tomatoes have come from those plants all summer long. But cold comes quickly in that part of the country. The growing season is over for her tomatoes.
She has already told me that she dreads the inevitable. She knows the time will come when she will have to pull up the remains of her beautiful “garden in pots.” The memories of a summer with many good times just flood her heart.
It all started back in the spring. She took her two grandchildren, Sophie and Jackson, to the local nursery in Rochester even when it was bitter cold outside to select the vegetable seeds for her deck garden. She perused the Internet to locate herbs that would grow in the short growing season of Minnesota. She hauled the pots outside to line her deck. She and the grandchildren planted a variety of wonderful vegetables and herbs. All summer she has carted tomatoes to neighbors and family. She watered and fertilized, tied long plants to the deck so they would not bend over, and waited for the first signs of her deck garden peering up through the pots. As a result, she has had cherry tomatoes and a variety of herbs. Oh the joys of summer…Susie will think back on it when it is 20 degrees below in Minnesota this January!
But time goes on. Soon it will be time to pull the plants up and put the pots that have stood on the deck all summer back into storage. The pots will brave, even in storage, severe Minnesota weather to once again in the spring to hold the dirt that will produce wonderful tomatoes and seasonings for cooking.
Susie says that when the time comes she will feel a little sad. She will be another year older, her husband is a year older and her grandchildren are one year closer to graduating from high school and being on their own.
But such is life. Life is brief. The Psalmist knew this well and wrote: “My days are like the evening shadow; I whither away like grass.” (Psalms 102:11). But even in the brevity of life, God sets the events of our lives in order and as people we should be thankful for every hour of life and every season that passes. With each passing season, we shall never pass this way again. The only thing constant is time and it in itself causes change in our lives. The key is to enjoy each God given moment and each God given day.
The scriptures speak to the permanence of God. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8. Nothing is constant in our lives except for Christ and His word. On Him we can depend, on Him we can trust and on Him we can plant our lives.