I enjoy weeding. Our yard may not always reflect this, but there is something rewarding about observing change the instant I affect it.
I’ve noticed something that disturbs me though. Since I don’t have a clue what I’m doing when it comes to planting, I revert to weeding. This wouldn’t be a problem except the yard we had at the time desperately needed…something.
I tried to get to the root of my aversion to planting. It stemmed from perfectionism. What if it doesn’t look right? What if it dies? What if I look foolish? But…what if we plant nothing and the yard looks like a wasteland?
The choice was easy: plant!
But I ran into another hurdle: I’d been told planting requires a plan. A plan? Why did something so simple have to become so complicated? My plan was to plant something!
I tried to formulate plans. We looked at online programs with graphs and virtual stuff to scale. Take a picture of your yard and stick it into this program for results we’ll show you for the cost of your firstborn. (We stuck with the free stuff.) I looked up our planting zone and searched for plants with various heights and colors and foliages for different seasons… I felt like I’d spilled a 5,000 piece puzzle on the floor and didn’t have the patience or desire to put it all together. I just wanted a yard I wasn’t embarrassed to claim!
I was back to square one. The problem remained. Now what?
I secretly wished for yards that didn’t belong to me. I dreamed about moving to a house with fabulous no-maintenance landscaping, but I knew moving wasn’t realistic. Deep down I had the notion no matter where we went, there would always be something to deal with.
This was all taking way too long. I was giving up on the idea our yard would ever measure up. This planning business was the death of me.
To all those who are sick of futile plans and the impotence to implement the best of them, Jesus offers some seriously good news when he says: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) He is the way, as in, the plan!
The PLAN! The PLAN! (I couldn’t resist. My apologies if you’ve never seen an episode of Fantasy Island.)
The point is: following Jesus IS the plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
You’ll be happy to know we finally transformed our landscaping with the help of a professional. It hadn’t needed major reconstruction, but the job was better handled by someone who knew what they were doing. Sometimes outside help is necessary.
The results were worth it. It had taken way longer than I wanted, and it wasn’t fancy, but I was finally proud of our yard. I no longer worried others were judging me. Worry takes up a lot of processor usage in the heart.
What outstanding frustrating situations are you dealing with? Have you tried to piece together a plan to solve it only to end up more frustrated?
The good news for those of us wanting to give up trying is that it’s ok to give up trying! We need professional help to enact the plan. Thankfully, Jesus is the plan.
Beautifying the landscapes of our lives, whether we need minor or major help, starts with yielding control to the Master Gardener. Following Jesus, with strength provided at the expense of God’s firstborn, has been the only path I’ve found that leads to real beauty. It’s not easy or instant and weeds still need pulling as I journey, but the results have been worth it so far.
Is there an impossible situation in your life that you are sick of trying to fix? Are you willing to let the Master Gardener take over and follow his plan? His plan isn’t elaborate theory, a lengthy to-do list, or a gantt chart (though these tools have their places). His plan is a Person who loves you so dearly he bears scars with your name written in them.
Following Jesus Christ is the best plan.