My Nano Patch
             
                                   
My Nano Patch – Spring Fever

Since the return of Spring, my gardening fever has been driving me to
the back garden for more than a month.  With each up-tick in
temperature, so does my activity, except for a brief respite when a
pair of House Finches constructed their new home in one of my Italian
Cypresses.   

Now that they have comfortably settled into their new home, my
activities resumed.  

There is a certain amount of planning and know-how that go into the
design of each bed and the placement of each plant before it rewards
me with a profusion of blooms and scents.  Then there is also the
added bonus of butterflies and birds that are attracted by the sweet
nectar, seeds and shelters.   

But it hasn't been easy.  This has been an on-going learning process.  
Last season's mistakes form the basis for this season's success.  And
there has been plenty of mistakes.   

Despite the mound of gardening books I have procured in the past,
somehow, the plants always manage to teach me something new.  No
amount of book knowledge can replace the sweat of nurturing; it is in
nurturing mistakes are made, corrections are implemented and real
knowledge is gained.   

It takes watchful persistence.  Weeds are always quick to pop up
where they are least wanted.  And they are always quick to return
when the gardener slacks off.  I've seen some beautiful gardens in the
neighborhood getting overrun with weeds due to negligence.  It always
leaves me with a sense of sadness every time I stroll by these
neglected gardens.   

Can't help but see that it's the same with us.  Our relationship with
the Lord takes cultivation in order for it to blossom.

Delicate seeds carelessly strewn over pavement or soggy clay will
have no chance of blossoming.  In the same way, careless disregard of
His still small voice and pruning hand will result in stunted growth in
our spiritual life.   

Isn't it also true of our relationship with each other?  It takes much
nurturing and persistence to see some blooms.  

Oh, the mistakes.  Who among us hasn't made any mistakes?  Each
"wilting" of relationship is a warning from the Lord to correct us so
that our relationship with Him and with the saints can get back to a
nurturing course.  

The greatest mistake is to give up.  Gardens suffer decline when
gardeners give up.  

My back garden is not where I envision it, but it is taking shape.  
There have been plenty of mistakes, and undoubtedly, I'd probably
make some more.  May the Lord grant mercy so that I learn from each
one of them and make corrections.  

The church life garden is likewise nowhere near where the Big
Gardener envisions it, but let's not give up.  The Lord says, "if he
gives up, My soul is not pleased with him" (Heb. 10:38b -- a little
gardener's rendition).  

Somewhere in my nano-patch of the universe, a few colors have begun
to show up; and, aside from the House Finches, a couple of Ruby-
Throats just started to dart from bloom to bloom.  In our church life
garden, buds are also beginning to form; let's yield to the Big
Gardener's pruning and cultivating.  

I see much weeds in my relationship with the Lord and with some
saints; gotta go pull 'em.  

Let brotherly love continue,

Oliver Peng