I have a lovely flower garden in my front yard. I sit and gaze at it first thing in the morning, watching hummingbirds and butterflies enjoy its nectar. Just seeing it fills me with peace and a sense of beauty. Whenever I walk by, I can’t help but enjoy it, and usually find a few weeds to pull or a dead flower to trim. I love putting my hand to it and continually taking care of it.
My flower garden is doing well this summer. Friends come by and tell me how beautiful it looks. And it is beautiful. But I have had a strange feeling all summer. For some reason, I don’t LIKE my garden as much as before. Hmmm – what has changed? Well, this summer I let someone else take care of my garden. Other tasks seemed more important for me to personally attend to.
I think I stumbled across a principle. (Gardens are full of wisdom!) We love that which we care for, that which we get our hands dirty for, that which we give our hearts to. As I give myself to someone through acts of service, my love for them actually grows. As I “get my hands dirty” loving my husband, or my children, or others, my love for them grows more.
My priorities may tell me to let someone else care for my flowers this summer. That’s okay. But that will remind me to invest myself in those God has given me to love. I can never be too busy for that!