One of the things that quickly impressed us while in Korea was how well the people make use of the land available to them. Small fields the size of backyards were filled with rice. Vacant lots in the city grew beans, cabbage, peppers, radishes (the size of watermelons), and even corn. Hills along roadways and bike paths were abundant with pumpkins, beans and peppers. Even the inches between a storefront and the street contained pots of peppers or beans. Clearly the relationship the Koreans have with their food is a tight-knit one and their concept of stewardship well understood.
Whether you garden at home or at the grocery store, we are all called to cultivate and share our other ‘gardens’. Jesus tells us in John 15 that He is the vine and we are the branches. We are to bear fruit, not in our own power, but simply by remaining in Him. If we remain connected to Him throughout the day, and not leave Him sitting by our devotional spot at home, He promises we will bear much fruit. It is after all, our primary job: remain in Him; bear fruit.
Every ‘space’ in our day can be cultivated to bear fruit if it is connected to its life-giving source. That is why it is essential to stay connected to God throughout the day, not just in those brief moments of prayer. The living vine gives life only to branches that remain attached. Everything else is superfluous. Everything not related to bearing fruit gets pruned. We might take great pleasure in the amount of leaves we generate or the expansiveness of our active growing cycles. But all our ambitions and activities, unless they bear fruit, are all cut off and thrown in the fire.
How do you remind yourself to stay attached to the vine? You might set “appointments” in your day planner to acknowledge God. You might put up visual signs or notes to draw your attention to your life-giving source. You might use every transition point in your day, when you move from one task to another, to draw near to God. You might train yourself to see others around you as reminders to see God in a new way.
However you choose to remind yourself, stay connected. Grow your garden and bear fruit wherever you are today. Use every space available.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5