Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Lesson From The Garden

Let the fig tree teach you a lesson.  As soon as its branches become green and tender and it starts putting out leaves, you know that summer is near. - Matthew 24:32
The mild winter has led us to some unusual experiences.  This week it was freezing fog on some very early growth.  I feel fortunate to have grabbed these pictures of how the fog settled on the plants and then froze.  At 28 degrees the fog was still a mist but when it landed on the surface of the roses it froze.
Fig trees will not grow in my climate so I am assuming that they conform to the growth of other trees and plants I am accustomed to.  Jesus often used agrarian images and examples to teach his followers.  These images became parables and metaphors for understanding life and to help people find deeper meaning.  Jesus so often used the common and ordinary as a way to talk about God's love and presence in our lives.  I think the whole of these examples creates a message that is bigger than the individual examples.  When Jesus compares the kingdom of God to a mustard seed, the point is that we should not overlook the small and common or we might miss what God is doing or if you prefer a deeper spiritual presence in your life.
When Jesus points out that before summer comes the fig tree branches begin to swell and send out small growth he is talking about expectancy and watchfulness.  Rarely in life do things happen suddenly.  Almost always there are events that point to what is about to happen.  It's true in relationships, education, growing up, and gardening.  The change from winter to summer does not happen all at once.  It comes with lots of small steps that tell us to get ready for the growth that is about to happen.

So if I am looking to this week's lesson from the garden it must be a cautionary message.  The garden is starting to show signs that growth is beginning but the frost warns us to be patient and not to jump in too deeply just yet.  It is still time for preparatory work.  Growth is coming - be ready and patient.


  1. I just had a conversation with someone about the growth of fig trees, so I'll send her this lesson.