Friday, 16 October 2009

Sacred Garden

Is there anything more sacred than ripe strawberries from your own little veggie garden, or watching the runner beans breaking through the soil to experience their first taste of sunlight, or smelling the newly planted sweet basil, rocket and parsley, or the expectancy of a little crop of maize, or the forest floor smell coming from your compost heap, or the sheer joy of growing your own tomatoes, chillies, lettuce, spring onions, beetroot, radish and Chinese cabbage?

No wonder the Book of God starts off with God being in a garden. Sowing, planting, growing and creating.

And then God looked at Homo sapiens and said: This is your home. Get your hands dirty! You’ll find joy in what you do.

But somewhere, with the help of shopping malls, plastic bags and pesticides we lost our earthly connection with Creation and its Creator. We’ve evolved into specie that relates better to lifeless, plastic, shiny metal stuff, than with earth, water, wind and fire.

No wonder we give a shit about life on earth.

Until you start to get compost and dirt underneath your fingernails, until you eat an entire meal out of your own little patch of life, until you reconnect with the way the seasons change and life grows and dies before your eyes, until then you’ll be fine with having carrots out of a plastic bag,


Sparky said...

I was thinking the same thing the other day, Fourie: I was sitting in an air-conditioned building - oblivious to the season outside -, trying to figure out why my port forwarded SSH connection to the remote database in a far-off African country was not behaving as expected, when an e-mail arrived from my colleague sitting 1 meter away from me... I looked up, he was expressionless, his eyes fixated on the monitor in front of him. I thought at that moment that all we need now is a USB port in our heads and the transition would be complete...

That weekend I was in the garden... my hands were dirty as I deliberately dug my hands into moist compost. It was as if I was in a church service where the life poured into my, instead of into the garden. It was spiritual... and I cannot wait to get dirty again!

de naakte priester said...

Sparky, it's been a while my doubtful brother! The garden as metaphor for the church is realy "growing" on me. More and more followers of Jesus are starting to embrace the earth as God's big gift to us. The more we integrate real life with our faith, the Jesus'message becomes an urgent call to wake up and smell the roses!

I planted Coriander seedlings today, you just got to love Spring and Summer.

Sparky said...

I can see it growing on you - I'm quite fond of it too... :-)

Another metaphor that you used earlier is growing on me. The Jumping Castling.

It completely changed the way I think about sin and faith:

1. Take of your shoes.
2. Don't hurt the other kids.

Of course one could take it further with rules such as "you have to be inside the castle to have fun", but I like the simplicity of the 2-rule version.

What is it with us and making faith so overcomplicated? Why do we have to understand all these deep doctrines and concepts? We tread ever-so-carefully, terrified that we will misinterpret something and have the wrath of God poured all over our miserable existence, that we completely miss the big picture.

I'm done interpreting and fearing. I'll just listen...

Keep well and keep blogging!