More than Conquerors

What do you do when it feels like the whole world has slowed down? Some have lost their jobs, others are still working, and yet it seems to take longer to do just about everything. Many activities we typically participated in are altered or cancelled altogether in hopes of not contributing to the spread of coronavirus. So what to do?

This was a question I found myself asking. The first two weeks we were home, I had no plan. I worked and I spent more time watching Netflix than I want to admit. From there, I moved into extreme structure, deciding that I would be productive in this time and do as much as possible in the day. I quickly realized that neither of those ways would help me in this time. Along the way, I’ve found myself somewhere in the middle, with an idea of what needs to happen in a day, but without scheduling each hour of the day.

While some of the hobbies I picked up along the way were quickly tossed to the side, one stuck - gardening. After the wonderful volunteers from the church did lots of great work in the yard, I was inspired. Along with taking time to water these plants and weed, I added some of my own plants. A tomato plant here, some rosemary there, and a little bit of basil too! Each day I wake up excited to see the progress my plants have made and to tend to them with care. Some nights as I settle down, I spend some time outside weeding quietly before going to bed.

I am not alone. In an article titled, “Why We Turn to Gardening in Hard Times,” Jennifer Atkinson shares that many have picked up gardening during this pandemic. Even before 2020, people have looked to gardening for comfort in times of struggle. I think for me, gardening offers a pace, a way of living so different from what I am used to. Gardens are slow (well, except for the weeds growing). You can’t “conquer” a garden. You can’t make it grow faster anytime you want. Sometimes, the plants don’t show themselves for a long time, and sometimes they surprise us and bud after many months or years of looking at bare dirt. As I read this week’s Scripture from Romans, I am struck by the line that says that “we are more than conquerors.”

This is a lesson that my garden is teaching me. There is joy in the slow. There is joy in the journey. It’s not possible to eliminate all the weeds at once. You can’t gather your harvest immediately. There is no immediate satisfaction, and yet, there is a joy enduring.

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