“Did you know what an oddball you are?” This was a rhetorical question posed by a close friend when I told her of my plans for the day.
I had several tasks that needed to be done, but the morning was cool and cloudy — perfect weather for working in the garden. Additionally, we had been blessed with some rain the day before, which makes the hard clay soil much more workable. The temptation to spend the entire day outside seemed overwhelming to me.
However, we had just begun a painting project in the bathroom, and the house was beginning to resemble a construction zone. I wanted to start issuing hard hats to anyone entering! I knew I needed to tackle several things at once.
Many people would not have spoken the words that I had just uttered, but the opposite. “I am going to hold myself to only an hour outside, and then get some painting done on the trim in the bathroom, and clean up the house as much as possible.”
Others might have said, “I am going to make myself spend an hour outside working in the yard.”
What makes me the oddball? I love my garden, and my plants are my treasures. Well…some of my treasures. God, family, and friends are my first priorities, but the garden runs very high on my list of recreational activities.
To me, it is not a chore to be endured, but a stress-busting time of enjoyment with the plants that I have collected down through the years. Each one seems to have a fond memory associated with it.
The little yellow daylilies that are the first to bloom were a Mother’s Day gift ten years ago. The purple phlox out in the back was a gift from a friend after I admired hers in her garden. The daffodils remind me of my mother. The peach tree was purchased for a dollar at an auction by my second-grade girl, when nobody wanted to bid against her.
Everywhere I turn in the yard there is a new treasure. It didn’t seem odd at all to me that I perceived my allotted hour as a reward rather than a drudgery.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, NASB).
No wonder my heart is in my garden, and it draws me into its beautiful surroundings at any chance I get. My treasures are there!
It is always a surprise to me when people treat prayer and Bible reading as a chore rather than a welcome retreat. I understand that my passion for plants is not shared by everyone. Maybe I truly am an “oddball” for treasuring my garden, and even the work that it entails.
But it puzzles me why a Christian wouldn’t want to dig deeper into the word of God, or talk to the Father who created us and loves us so much.
The Bible is a treasure! God’s family, the church, is a treasure! Talking one to one with the Creator is a treasure! Our hearts should be wrapped up in it.