Our life is filled with many metaphors. What metaphors we choose however will make a big difference on the quality of your life. Each of our thoughts, words and actions create our reality—create our life. It is still hard for many to connect the dots and see how this plays out in their life. But when we do, we experience an immediate and profound transformation in the quality of our life.
One of the most common areas that we hear many metaphors for, are those dealing with God, or what we understand God to be. We each have our own unique relationship with God, even if we are an atheist. Some of the most common ways that people try to refer to God are as “God the Father”, “God the friend”, “God the Creator”, “God the Source Energy”, etc.
Each of the above metaphors will create a certain presence in our life. Each of them will guide us in how we think, speak and act. For example, people who refer to “God as the Father” tend to have more obedience-based responses, living life as either a “good” or a “bad” child, feeling unworthy, or experiencing unconditional love.
One of the most empowering ways that I have found to refer to, or see the presence of God in our life is through the metaphor of God, as the gardener. In this sense, God can be seen as cultivating the world, giving it water of life, and nourishment from the soils. And so, as this caring gardener tends to all of his/her seeds, it watches them grow and unfold right before its eyes.
The gardener never forces his plants to grow a certain way, but gives them love and all the requirements for life and simply watches them “be”.
Hence when I came across this poem/prayer from Joyce Rupp, it eloquently demonstrated to me, how some people can envision, feel and relate to God as a gardener:
Gracious Gardener, How wondrously You care for me. You send Your waters of refreshment. Your wisdom inspires my spirit. You keep drawing us toward Your light.
New growth continually sprouts from the soil of my spiritual garden. Flowers of creativity bloom. Herbs of joy flavor my days. Vegetables of nourishment flourish.
Gracious gardener, I trust that You will continually water my soul and drench my life with Your abiding love.
You can find this and many other poems/prayers in Joyce Rupp’s book Prayers to Sophia: A Companion to “The Star in My Heart”.
I feel these verses can be used for so many things in one’s life. You can use them as a reflection, especially as a beautiful summer reflection. You can apply them as a prayer. You can read them for inspiration or you can simply take the words as they are and enjoy the moment they bring you.
There are many lines in these verses that really resonate with my spirit. However, the line the spoke to me the most, was when Joyce writes “New growth continually sprouts from the soil of my spiritual garden.” Knowing that we are one and always connected to God, in this image we too can view ourselves as “gardeners”.
We each have our own “spiritual garden” whether we know it or not. Whether we choose to see it, there are many “plants” in this garden of “ours” that can bring new growth into our life. Let us therefore take an example from nature and be open and adaptable to allow new growth to come through us, however and which ever way God’s energy and light works within us.
If you have not pondered on or considered your own “spiritual garden”, I invite you to reflect upon that and see potential that awaits within you.
In your reflection, consider questions like:
- What is present in my spiritual garden?
- How do I nourish my spiritual garden?
- What can I do to stay in tune with my spiritual garden?
If your spirit has felt God’s presence and you have accessed your own spiritual garden, I invite you to share a story or two if you’d like below, from your own experience and the changing growth that it brought into your life.