Accidentally on purpose

They look pretty happy together. The canary-yellow Thunbergia was planted on the metal archway on purpose, although in hindsight it would have looked better to plant one on the other side as well. But the bright red Cypress Vine was one of the many volunteers that came up because I don’t weed that area as often as other spaces.

The two of them made a very pretty pair, sprawling off the archway and moseying on their merry way across the top of the antique iron fence. As they met and made acquaintance with the volunteer cherry tomatoes, they intertwined further with their new friend.

The added benefit was that they kept the tomato branches from falling over with the weight of their fruit and being spoiled by the snails on the ground.

As I walked by and popped a few juicy red tomatoes in my mouth, I marveled that sometimes the things that I don’t plan turn out to be pretty nice anyway.

It could be a state of mind more than anything — or it could be sloth. Those morning glories climbing into the curly willow tree do annoy me, but not enough to pull them out. It seems that the pop of purple color in the morning far outweighs the desire to do the work it would take to have a more traditionally neat garden.

Either way, the choice to enjoy the paths that we did not choose is ours. We can put aside our disappointment with the inevitable detours in the road we planned to take and enjoy the scenic route sometimes.

“The mind of man plans his way,
But the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9, NASB).

We can choose to make that journey joyful or not. Paul and Silas certainly didn’t plan to be tossed into prison as a result of preaching. Yet, when they were, they didn’t pass the time frowning and moping.

“But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them” (Acts 16:26).

Just like the support my tomato received from the unplanned vine, a benefit came from the horrible events of that day; a precious soul was saved, and all his house! (Acts 16:26-34).

Let’s make it a good day. No…let’s acknowledge that the day is a good one even if it didn’t go exactly as planned.

Having a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day? Look to the “director” (Proverbs 16:9) for a change in direction!

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Christine (Tina) Berglund

Christine lives in middle Tennessee with her husband Gary, a.k.a. "The Yard Boy." They have served churches in eight states where Gary has preached full-time most of their married lives. The children have flown the nest, but they "baby" their plants now, and even get to visit grandchildren once in a while.

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