Jan Roberson: The Strawberry Garden

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We have a “garmungus” garden, to quote one of my very young friends. My husband is an avid gardener. He does the bulk of the work (because he loves growing things) and I reap the benefits. It’s a pretty good deal!

 

My one responsibility is the strawberry patch. My husband transplanted all of the plants to the space where he formally grew vegetables. It was a bigger space so the strawberry plants can grow and expand. I am in charge of weeding and picking this patch.

 

Early on in that first season, my strawberry patch was full of “former occupants”. There were cilantro plants in profusion, dill, volunteer potato plants; poppy plants galore, and, of course, weeds. I worked at pulling these things out every once in a while…not being the avid gardener my husband is. I also left quite a few cilantro plants to grow and give away.

 

When the strawberries were ripe, I easily saw the reason for weeding and getting rid of the other plants. The cilantro was so tall that I couldn’t see the berries of some plants; the poppies multiplied in profusion and grew tightly around the strawberries; the potato plants had large, thick tubers in the soil; and the weeds were going to seed. I tried pulling out some cilantro and accidently pulled out some strawberry plants because they were so closely connected. Many of the berries were hidden under layers of different sorts of plant leaves.

 

As I worked on this mess, I thought about the phrase, “The good is often the enemy of the best”. Never have I seen this so vividly illustrated as in my garden! Dill is good, Cilantro is good, Potatoes are good, and Poppies are good….but they are not the best things in a strawberry patch! We grow those things in other parts of our garden…this patch is meant to produce strawberries in abundance!

 

I needed to concentrate on and care for the strawberries, because they were the crop we wanted in that space. The other “good” plants had become enemies to the “best” plant for this section of the garden.

 

Wow. How often in my life do I do this? Take on all sorts of things without evaluating them? Are they the best things to do right now? Time is a valuable commodity, which becomes more valuable with age (my age). I want to be about what the Lord has for me right now, right here. I want to follow His lead for my life. I want to keep my ‘strawberry patch’ pure and available for His purposes.

 

The good is often the enemy of the best. I want to focus and concentrate on the best that God has for me right now; to tend the garden He has given me and do it very well.

 

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