A few years back I got a call from my mom and dad asking for some help. Friends of theirs own a landscaping company – you know the type that makes your backyard look like it was imported from the French countryside. Over dinner one night they gave my parents the low down on how to make the garden in front of their house look amazing. This is where I come in – they needed me to put a shovel to good use.
I arrived at my parents’ house early one Saturday morning ready for a few hours of work. I honestly thought we were just going to add a few plants and call it a day. Man was I wrong. We started out by removing all of the existing plants and setting them to the side. While we were hard at work a huge truck backed into the driveway and dumped what to my best estimate was about a million pounds of organic soil. My dad then pulled a motorized tiller out of the garage. We spent the next couple hours tilling the dirt. Back and forth and side to side making sure we removed all rocks and debris. Then we started mixing in the organic soil. This took another couple of hours. Wheel barrel load after wheel barrel load of soil, it seemed like it would never end. As it began to get dark I noticed we hadn’t even started planting anything. It was becoming apparent that a second day was going to be needed.
Once again in the early morning of the next day I made my way over to my parents’ house. Today we would plant. Laying out all the new and old plants where we would like them. Paying attention to spacing and overall look, we took great care in choosing every spot based on the knowledge my parents friends had given us. Finally the time came to grab a shovel and start putting things in the ground. In my ignorance I just started digging holes only to find out there is a very intentional way to dig the hole so that the plant has the best chance to continue to grow. After almost two full days of work we stood back and marveled at what we had created. We were able to bring new life to a garden that had seen its better days.
That story came to mind over the past few days as I’ve been processing this idea of kingdom. I can remember a time in my life when I saw my faith as my lotto ticket to heaven. I was just waiting for my number to be called, but it’s so much more than that, isn’t it?
Could it be less about waiting for heaven and more about bringing heaven to earth? I love the idea of joining with God in what he is doing here and now. Just like my parents gave me an opportunity to help restore their garden, God is giving us the opportunity to join in His story of restoration.