The Art of Patience
We live in an instant society. We want instant coffee, instant pudding, and instant oatmeal. We want our computers to boot within microseconds or we get impatient. When we plant a garden, we expect to see the sprouts within a day. If we do not see the sprouts shoot up immediately, we become impatient. Similarly, when we are growing the inner garden of the soul, we need to keep tending it, day after day, with meditation, even when we do not instantly see the dramatic results we want.
We do not see the seeds in the ground through the long winter, yet with proper care, they sprout into buds and then flowers. Similarly for those on the spiritual path may not see the fruits of our meditation right away. But with diligent practice, we will find that the blossoms will appear.
Trust in God
The plants and trees in the outer gardens of the world cannot move or act on their own. They cannot talk, so they cannot ask for what they want. They cannot walk, so they cannot go out on their own to get what they need. They are planted in one place with no ability to communicate, move, or take action. They are at the mercy of Nature and God. Yet, everything is provided for them.
God provides them with soil, sunlight, air, and water. Whether they are in a tended garden or out in the wild, God has provided for them for ages. If God can provide for every blade of grass on this planet, can’t we trust that God is going to provide for us also? From the garden we learn the lesson of trust in God. There is a plan for each of us. When we do not realise how much of our life is provided by God’s plan for us, we spend a tremendous amount of time worrying over things that are bound to happen anyway. If we could learn the lesson of trust in God, much energy that we waste in worrying could be used for more productive endeavours.
Do Your Best, Leave the Rest
Since we do not know what is planned and what is not planned at our physical level, we need to do our best in all circumstances. We need to take the best possible action, but then leave the results to God. When something is not going our way, we need to accept that there is another plan for us and let go. We did what we could, but we should leave the rest in God’s hands.
In a garden, when we have given our seed fertile soil, water, sunlight, and air, we know we have done our best. How the plant grows then is not in our hands. It is in the hands of God. If the plant does not turn out the colour we wanted, the size we wanted, or the shape we wanted, we know there was something beyond our control. We do not blame ourselves for we know we did our part. Then, we know that God had a different plan for that plant. Similarly, we do our best in all circumstances, and then leave the results to God. In this way, we free ourselves from blame, guilt, or regret. We need to do our best and trust in God to take care of us.
Lesson of Humility
From the plants we learn the lesson of humility. If we watch the trees and bushes on a windy day, what do we see? We find that trees that resist the wind, crack and split. Trees that bend low to the ground with the wind do not break. When the wind passes, the trees spring back up to their upright positions. Often when challenged by the winds of other people or winds of change, we push back. We resist or fight back. We get into arguments. We may even push back physically and get into a physical fight. We may push back verbally and say things that cause altercations or a vicious exchange of words.
We may even keep quiet, but mentally go into an outburst of negative thoughts towards the person, which the person may not directly hear but can feel through the strong vibrations of anger we spew out. We should learn to observe how those trees, bushes, and flowers that go with the flow of the wind are able to prevent themselves from breaking and cracking. This is the secret of humility. Let us learn from the garden the secret of nurturing the seed of our soul with meditation on the Light and Sound of God. Let us learn from the garden the value of patience, trust, and humility. We will then experience the eternal springtime as we bask in God’s blissful garden.
When we do not realise how much of our life is provided by God’s plan for us, we spend a tremendous amount of time worrying over things that are bound to happen anyway.
Let us learn from the garden the secret of nurturing the seed of our soul, and the value of patience, trust, and humility. We will then experience the eternal springtime as we bask in God’s blissful garden.