Sitting at a Christmas gathering, having opened all of your presents, you watch everyone else open theirs. As the time begins to come to an end, you spot a gift not far from you. Wondering whose it is, you look at the name tag, and with delightful surprise, you see your name on it! You begin to open this unexpected package and you find the perfect gift chosen just for you.
Sitting beside you the whole time, you almost missed it.
Gift within the Normal
I went about my tasks for the day. Clean the house, edit my latest podcast, begin a gardening blog post. At the end of the time I allot for my daily blogging work, I felt frustrated with all I still had to do. But a thought crossed my mind: I LOVE this.
I couldn’t wait until I had more time to devote to this particular gardening post, and I couldn’t wait to share it.
In that moment, I felt a stirring, “This is My gift to you.”
I hadn’t quite figured out why I fell in love with gardening five years ago. Or that I can’t help but write about it. Or that producing the Beginner’s Garden Podcast has been one of the most enjoyable tasks I’ve ever thrown myself into. Or that when someone wants to talk gardening, I get as excited as my dog when she sees my car pull into the driveway.
My “professional” life as a writer and blogger seems strangely fragmented. It’s like one side of my brain (and soul) devotes itself to Bible studies and writing on faith. Then a switch flips and the other side of my brain (and soul) lights up when I record garden podcasts and Youtube videos. They seem like such different segments of myself, with the connecting part as small as the corpus callosum joining my left and right brain. It has all seemed very strange to me.
But looking at gardening as a literal gift from God brings the blurriness into sharp clarity.
You see, writing and teaching Bible studies, blogging on my faith, and seeking to disciple others can get draining. Besides the tasks themselves, insecurities and doubts plague me, and I wonder if I’ll ever have the strength to see it all through. There’s the fleshly part of myself who wants to please everyone. And I hesitate, thinking, “who do I think I am trying to point people to God?”
But when I’m writing and talking on gardening, the work taps into a different side of my creativity. It’s refreshing.
It’s a gift.
Gift within a Gift
Perhaps that’s why it’s no coincidence that when I’m gardening some of my best prayer times happen. God knows that the places He’s taking me — in both my personal faith walk and as I seek to serve others — aren’t always easy. Worth it? Absolutely! But easy? Not always.
He also knows that in the process, He’s got some ugly to dig up in me, and it’s not fun to come to terms with ugliness buried happily unnoticed.
Whether I’m digging in the dirt or blogging about it, it’s a refreshing gift. It’s a good and perfect gift that comes from above.
It’s a gift that has sat there for 5 years and just now I see it sitting beside me. It’s been there all along, waiting to be noticed.
Perhaps God has given you a gift or two that you haven’t noticed. What might they be? Thank God for His good and perfect gifts. They’re good — because God is good. And they’re perfect — because like a parent, God knows exactly how choose the perfect present.