Urban Garden Denver Blog


Simple formulas are appealing. We take certain steps and an outcome is guaranteed. Plant your garden, tend your garden, weed your garden, and enjoy flowers and/or vegetables. Put in the appropriate inputs and achieve the desired results. Yes, formulas are comforting and help us organize our activity. Except that formulas don’t really work in our complex world. We do certain things as parents and we want guarantees that our children will turn out a certain way. We invest in relationships and we want guarantees that our friendships will be fruitful. We work hard at our jobs and we want to see the numerical results of achieving goals. While purposeful work is useful, it doesn’t guarantee exact results.

Many gardeners in Denver have seen this over the past few weeks, as storms and hail have bounced across the area. My garden had no damage but friends just a few miles away saw their work from the whole season wiped out. And community gardens on the west side saw their harvest of vegetables to provide healthy food to their neighborhood quickly wiped out. The formula didn’t work, the hard work didn’t bring the desired result.

So why keep on with purposeful activity? Perhaps the French existentialists were correct in their assessment of the meaningless of life.

Lilies are a beautiful creation

I keep on keeping on, not because the results are always what I expect, but because I choose to live a hopeful life. I choose to believe that whether I see the harvest or results or not, there is meaning and purpose in my work. I choose to believe that there is more than the here and now. That even if we don’t see present results, there are ultimate results that are not evident to my limited vision or my sense of timing. And in the midst of the uncertainties of life, I can find joy in the present moment, in the blossom of a lily and the amazing shape and scent of this flower, created by a good God.

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