“Both abundance and lack [of abundance] exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we will tend…when we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but are grateful for the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, the joys of nature, and personal pursuits that bring us [happiness]—the wasteland of illusion falls away and we experience heaven on earth.” —Sarah Ban Breathnach
While at my parents’ home last weekend, I took a small stroll through my garden. I started gardening when I was in high school and ever since then I’ve had an affinity for growing things ever since. Someone at my reception referred to flowers as “frozen music.” I like that description.
Anyway, when I stepped into my garden one of the first things I noticed were the raspberries. Frankly, I’ve never had a good relationship with that raspberry bush! I planted it when I was a senior in high school and it’s given me nothing but grief. It’s prickly, it wouldn’t grow where it was supposed to and it hasn’t given much fruit.
But on this stroll through the garden I was positively shocked by how many raspberries there were.
There were thousands.
After I had spent a couple of hours plucking as many ripe raspberries as I could, I couldn’t help but think about how this was comparable to life. I learned a long time ago that gardening, farming, and working the land are rich in lessons about life.
Sometimes we plant things in our lives with the hope that they’ll bring forth good fruit. The fruit does not come right away; you have to work at it day by day. Sometimes, it can be a struggle; it can be prickly and difficult. It might not even work the way you intended. But if you nurture it with faith and love, it can bring forth an abundance of fruit.
I thought of my own life and how I am living in a period of absolute abundance. I have been given so much. I often wonder: what did I do to deserve all of these wonderful things? Is this the product of my own labor? No, I don’t think so. Because I’ve left my garden many times to work in other states. Whenever I’ve left my family has taken care of my garden.
I believe that much of the fruit—the abundance—that I’m experiencing in my life is because of the labors of my family and friends. Had it not been for the spiritual labors of loving parents, siblings, and dear friends, I would still be struggling with the bristles, thorns, and weeds of life—struggling to produce anything.
I encourage you to look at your life and choose to see abundance rather than lack. You may be struggling with the bristles, thorns, and weeds of life, but it might just be the set up for a glorious and abundant harvest.
© 2014 Seth Adam Smith, author of Your Life Isn’t for You: A Selfish Person’s Guide to Being Selfless