Thursday, July 27, 2017

How Much Longer?


The children of Israel complained as they wandered through the desert led by Aaron and Moses that they would have been better off dying in Egypt than in the Although the seed had been planted in the form of their liberation from the Pharaoh, they were still not content. They were very much like the seed that had sprung up, but was scorched by the sun (in their case literally). We too wander much like the people of Israel through our own personal deserts and the deserts of our culture.  We are replenished at times with joy in the form of food and pleasure that seems short lived.  We may suffer from personal tragedies, health issues, relationships that seem to have sour." How much longer will I have to put up with this issue, sickness, or person,"  we cry out. We are those very children of Exodus as the seed of our faith becomes hardened and burned.


What prevents us from being the seed that takes root in the rich soil? Anyone that has garden extensively or farmed knows that prior to a crop being planted the soil must be cultivated, broken up, and amended. This is an annual ritual for those of us who garden. In the early Spring I begin taking out the soil from my vegetable beds and carting to the compost pile. I then take the composted soil which has been hopefully nurtured with plentiful rain water (yes this year it actually rained in Southern California) grass, fruit, and vegetable scraps and begin transferring it to the beds. Experience tells me that just using the soil that was in the beds from the previous year produces poor crops. Seeds planted in this soil will shoot up
but soon die as they lack the proper nutrients. This sudden burst of energy is similar to the seed of the faith that brings excitement and joy only to dwindle away with any type of hardship. It has not been nourished thus altogether disappears.

NURTURED SOIL                                             

Since sometimes the soil in my garden becomes dry over time and loses nutrients that compost can not always replace it becomes necessary to add organic soil amends. With this material the crop when planted receives the sustenance needed to become a healthy plant. I haven't asked my plants lately about how they feel about this, but if I were to compare it to my life or even that of people of Israel I can find that they too needed signs from God such as quail and the manna that populated the ground after they complained about the lack of food. For that matter my spiritual life is dependent on receiving communion and attending Mass as much as possible. Although my faith wavers at times and the constant question arises how much longer must this go on, God never abandons me.


Much like the plant that is nourished by the proper amount of water, compost, fertilizer (for my plants only organic) and tender care, we becomes givers of life.  It is no longer a complaint of how much longer when things are rough and life doesn't conform to our personal desires, but finding God in these challenges. Prayer, prayer, and more prayer and the will to surrender our desires to control things allow for life giving actions. Not conforming to the natural ability to complain, but to allow life to flow from God one becomes much like my favorite tomato plant below. This plant  was a volunteer, but with all of above components it has been giving for four months. I allowed it to come up through the soil, excited for what it might be and have not been let down as it has been producing for four months and I in turn have been lavishing my neighbors with the crop. 

The plentiful grape tomato plant nourished by compost and amended soil

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