The words God spoke to Adam the first man and the things He placed him in the position to do after creation, are very significant because they express the original intention of God for a peaceful, successful and enjoyable stay on the earth.
Recorded in Genesis 1:28 is God’s first charge to man after creation that says “Be Fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it:” Sure, it is a familiar sermon to all us but can we go on a little further to Genesis 2:15? “And the LORD God took man and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” He kept man in the garden to superintend, guard, nurse and grow it.
I have heard these verses repeatedly just as you have heard them, but at the beginning of this year, it meant even more to me.
My mother farms passionately and because of her, we do pretty much of farming yearly. Frankly, if you ask her, she will tell you I have not been her favourite work companion yet she always finds a way to get me to work in her farm. If it is not planting seeds, it will be clearing a portion of weeds, making ridges for seed yam, harvesting and the farm always seem to need one attention or the other.
Just before the New Year began, mummy planted an avocado pear seed that needed so much attention because it was sown in the dry season and needed sufficient water to survive. It had to be watered every morning and evening and mum made sure that was done. (Remember I told you she was a passionate farmer) The plant germinated, sprouted leaves and bloomed very beautifully.
After sometime, I don’t know how I got to accept that, but mum made me responsible for the welfare of the plant, she kept asking me to water the plant and to ensure it was growing and in that season I learnt one of the biggest life lessons that ushered my new year.
I just don’t know why I was so lazy and unconcerned about farming even when I knew it was important. If I planted or did anything on the farm, it was because I just wanted to please mummy, but this was me -the unconcerned and lazy farmer- asked to ensure the growth and wellbeing of my mum’s cherished avocado plant and I slacked in my work. I did not take the responsibility seriously; some days I didn’t even remember to water it and even days when I told some other person to water it for me I did not care afterwards to confirm the state of the plant. Slowly but in just a few days the blooming plant withered and I felt deeply for my irresponsibility. I tried so hard to get the plant to grow and bloom again, I poured water consistently, morning and night and I am still hoping for its resuscitation.
God taught me a lot from that experience; sometimes we expect things to grow and yield bountifully the fruits we desire even when we are not willing to tend them. We go about with ‘unlawful’ wishes and expect miracles to happen even when we are slothful in doing our own part, and we forget what the wise King Solomon observed in the slothful man’s field -it was full of thorns and weeds.
Therefore, this year, I have learnt to be diligent enough to tend (to nurse, grow, expand) my garden which implies whatever God has given to me and has placed me in the position to dress and keep. They could be Ideas, visions, talents, skills, relationships, career; business, etc. because in them will I be fruitful, in them will I multiply, replenish, and subdue the earth.
We need to learn that if we must bloom and flourish in different desired areas of our lives then we will need to pay attention to those areas; we will need to water them and be diligent and consistent to see them grow and yield fruits. Even those areas of our lives we feel have withered; the joy in our relationships, the stamina of our businesses, the effectiveness of our skills, if we begin again to tend them, there is a possibility that they will sprout leaves and bloom again.