Calendar pages have a way of turning over very quickly. Seasons roll from one to the next in what seems to be rapid succession. I, like many others, hear myself saying, “Where did the time go?” The tick-tock of father time has a momentum that no one has ever altered. Such is life – a forward-moving aggregation of the coming future and the receding past, which often becomes one big blur unless we stop to acknowledge the miracle that can only be produced in the context of time.
I walked onto my front porch yesterday to water the potted plants that have been growing all summer. Back in the spring when all the stores were beginning to display their array of garden florae, I bought a variety of seedlings to create my own outdoor flowering arboretum. I carefully planted each burgeoning bud in a decorative pot and displayed them on my flower cart and patio table. From new rose bushes placed in the perfect spots around my yard to petunias and geraniums bringing complimentary hues of color to augment my home, I was ready for my showcase of summer landscaping.
Throughout the summer, I have cared for my plants; and throughout the summer, my plants have grown. Now, at the end of summer, each seedling has matured into a big, beautiful, multi-bloom flowering plant. My pots overflow! What began as the promise of garden-like display has turned into a picturesque scene! How did that occur? They each had time to grow.
The summer sky is quickly departing as the season of fall rushes our way. Days are shorter; temperatures are cooler. All the elements that caused my garden to grow will soon disappear. Eventually, all that will remain will be the photos I have taken to remind me of that which was. With that reality settling in on my thinking, I decided to “stop and smell the roses.” I decided to take another moment to appreciate the results and the process that caused my garden to become what it was promised to be.
The process – now there is a comment that I might not always appreciate. Seldom does anything arrive in full bloom. The potential of a thing must be allowed the process of growth if the desired outcome is to be attained; and the challenge to continue maintaining the daily routine while time works its miracle is sometimes neglected. We will only patiently endure when we understand that things must be allowed time to grow.
Jesus told His disciples that His kingdom would be like a seed that was sown into the soil. It would need to grow. He also told them that His kingdom would be like leaven or yeast that would cause bread to expand over time. Both of His parables were, in part, His way of telling His followers not to expect instantaneous results but rather to understand that time would be necessary for the full transformation.
Both heavenly life and earthly life unfold little by little. Natural gardens and spiritual gardens grow. Promises become reality as time goes by and garden-tenders steadfastly tend their seedlings. And what will time produce? A miracle! Maybe the miracle will not be instantaneous, but it will be a miracle none-the-less. Miraculous transformation occurs when promises (and people) are given time to grow.