Shirley is a fantastic gardener. We live on a golf course and every spring as we are working in the backyard, golfers stop to chat. They tell her that her garden is the best on the golf course and that they are looking forward to seeing what it will look like this summer. This is what a small corner of the garden looked like mid summer last year.

Each spring Shirley thinks about what she wants the finished product to look like and begins to plant the flowers that will create the desired effect. As we were digging and weeding and putting in bedding plants this spring I began to think this is much like life. We need to have a picture of where we want to go, what we want to accomplish and what we want our life to look like. I think the Apostle Paul had this in mind when he said, “be imitators of me as I also am of Christ.”  In other words, create a picture of what you want to be, then work toward it.

But it is not always an easy process because what we start with is not necessarily what we want the finished product to look like. The next picture is taken of the same area a few weeks earlier in the spring.

The building blocks are there. There are some shrubs beginning to grow, some show blossoms and a few perennials have already leafed out, but before we see mid summer’s results we have to plant and weed and water and fertilize. The shrubs need to be pruned, some plants staked up, and some taken out because they don’t fit with what we want the finished product to look like.

A couple of days ago I was going over the same area for the third time and there were still weeds, and I knew that gardening and life are much the same. A lot of people think I am quite a nice person; occasionally some one says something nice about me. But when I look into my heart I realize I had better start weeding again. And I need to go back and take another look at who I really want to be.