Becoming a parent naturally brings about a variety of lifestyle changes, some more substantial than others. One of the smaller changes that surprised me was a new vigour for my garden – undoubtedly the result of being brought outside by the little ones and forced to stare down the dilapidated remains of my lawn!
When we had bought our newly built house several years ago the outside had merely been cleaned up. I contributed a garden shed to the backyard, some pine bark around the side and threw lawn seed over the rest. Over the years an assortment of plants had somewhat randomly made their way into the ground in small flashes of misguided floriculture, the end result being a rather colourful but scraggly mess!
Facing this garden daily while chasing the little ones I took to dreaming and then planning a garden renaissance. Sketches were made, Pinterest was scrolled and multiple google tabs were opened before finally approval was sought from the lady of the house. After much consultation, the shovels came out and the real work began!
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but as the weeks rolled on a very noticeable change started to whirl around the house. A fence went up, a hedge went in and garden beds were formed. Trees sprouted out the front while lettuce, kale and spinach started to grow out the back.
A bud of change
With all this new greenery came a change in me. No longer was the weather forecast about deciding between shorts or pants but rather how much watering the roses needed. On hot days I waited anxiously for the sun to go down so I could refresh the parched Nandinas with a cool spray of water.
With the investment of time and effort the value of my garden had not only risen in beauty but also its place in my life. It had changed my routine, with a regular watering of the plants before bed becoming the new normal. When things become valuable to me I naturally give them more time and place in my life, a concept which was beautifully revealed by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount:
Matthew Chapter 6 verse 21 (NIV) – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
A great companion verse to this is found in Proverbs:
Proverbs chapter 4 verse 23 (NIV) – Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
What I treasure is where my heart will make its home, and from that home everything that I do is raised and sustained. A microcosm of this is seen in the tale of my garden, but there are weightier issues at play.
Home, sweet home
If all that I do flows from my heart, and that same heart makes its home in the midst of what I treasure, then it reasonably follows that the more I value Christ Jesus the more my life will reflect that reality. My thoughts, words, and actions will flow naturally from the treasure stored in the vault of my soul.
Just as my daily routine changed in keeping with the rising worth of my garden, I would expect that the more value I place in Christ the more I will see the outworking of that in changed desires, habits and routines across every sphere of my life.
I want to make sure my heart makes it home at the foot of the cross, so the question I want to be asking myself this year is how can I increase the value I place in Christ on a daily basis? As I tend the budding flowers in my garden I will remind myself of the exertion that went into it and remember to put the same focus and effort into building my eternal treasures. The rewards are literally out of this world.
Thomas Devenish lives in Hobart, Tasmania with his wife and two daughters. He works as a motion designer and enjoys the diverse experiences life has to offer, from chasing tennis balls to curling up with a good book on a rainy day. Thomas Devenish’s previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/thomas-devenish.html