There is traditional Hindu story told about a wandering holy man who was asked by a stranger what his work in life was.
He replied, “I am a gardener.”
The questioner looked surprised and asked “Where are your gardens?”
The holy man replied, “This body of mine is my garden. I sow good thoughts and actions, and in my body I reap the results.”
There is profound truth in this little story. We are, all of us, gardeners. No matter what else you do “for a living”, you are really the gardener of your life. Your harvest can be seen in the quality of your health, the peace in your mind and the quality of your relationships with those closest to you.
A gardener is really a steward or caretaker. He doesn’t create the seeds, the soil, the rain or the sun- or the life force that permeates them all and grows the plants. Even though 99% of the process of growing a plant is done well beyond the ability of the gardener, there would be no fruitful harvest without the important caretaking provided by the gardener. Likewise, we don’t create our bodies, we don’t create our minds, we don’t even create our thoughts (despite what you may have been taught to believe) and we don’t create the same life force that permeates them all and allows us to grow.
As a steward, we don’t really create anything- instead we nurture creation and allow creation to happen through us. We willingly acknowledge that 99% of creation happens well beyond our ability to understand, but we know that the 1% of the process that is within our discretion is still vital to the overall growth process.
In fact that 1% determines the difference between a garden overgrown with weeds and infested with pests and a beautiful, fruitful work of art.
Questions to Ponder
How does my garden grow?
How is what I have in my life right now a result of what I have nurtured or allowed? Both the positive and the negative?
What weeds in my garden need pulling? What good plants need more of my attention and nurturing?