I’ve written about our little rectangle of green growing goodness in the middle of the sky. It has been more than a mini-garden. It has been a daily reminder, growing there greenly, to bloom where we’re planted.
Most of us experience a new place or a new culture at some time during our lives. And change can be threatening as well as exciting. We’re mostly creatures of pattern and habit, and the old offers all the comfort of familiarity. We’ve enjoyed the former patterns and places. We’ve been so happy here, we say on moving day, standing in strangely empty rooms, staring at shoe-prints in the dust. The memories are strong, they’re coming along, but they mustn’t bind us. It’s those words I’ve heard all my life: “You need to look where you’re going.” There are new joys ahead.
I know people who always seem disgruntled because here-right-now simply won’t get its act together and become there-back-then. I’ve encountered plenty of Americans who fault England for not behaving like the United States. Jim Elliot wouldn’t like this attitude. He took as his motto, “Wherever you are, be all there.” Jonathan Edwards wouldn’t like it either. My favorite of his oft-quoted Resolutions: “Resolved, to live with all my might while I do live.” Perhaps it’s too easy for me to say all this because, most gratefully I say it, I love Oxford. But truly there are things I don’t love, I just don’t want to dwell on them. I don’t believe that’s the way that happiness lies.
How does your garden grow? Are you where you are? And has God given you fruit?