‘A garden requires patient labour and attention. Plants do not grow merely to satisfy ambitions or to fulfil good intentions. They thrive because someone expended effort on them’ – Liberty Hyde Bailey
Did it ever occur to you that the Bible begins and ends with a garden? Adam and Eve were able to walk with The Gardener, God himself. For a time, the best intentions thrived throughout creation in the garden but things fell apart when the best intentions were not followed through. Fast forward from Genesis to Revelation and you come to a beautiful garden where trees are constantly bearing fruit and even the leaves of the trees bring healing.
Fruit of the tree that was forbidden in Eden is now accessible for those who find The Way into the garden of Revelation. This Tree of Life is there for us because Jesus Christ saw through the good intentions of God on another tree, the cross.
Before we get to the Tree of Life we have to come to that ugly cruel tree and fully recognise the one who was crucified for us. If the world represents a garden, we are all given a patch of it to tend. Our lives will be reflected in the beauty or ugliness of our garden patches. We may fail in our intentions to be good gardeners at times. When we get it wrong, the path to righting it is recognising it and then to ask for help from God our Father who delights to partner with us as co-workers in his garden.
‘We run around so much - with the best intentions: I want to save the rain forest. I've gotta clean up the oceans. I've gotta save the dolphins. All worthy efforts, but if you're not centred and you don't have the serenity in your life you need to accomplish that task, you're not going to do a very good job’ – Ed Begley
Being centred is about balance, focus and stability. Christians have this through relationship with Christ – the cornerstone of our lives. The first disciples had good intentions of being faithful and fruitful but even they were not always able to see them through. Despite their arguments about who was the greatest, their inability to keep watch with Jesus, their subsequent abandonment and disbelief, in the end it was through them that the church became established. Even Peter’s denial did not exclude him from being centred in Christ and becoming the rock that Jesus spoke of.
The world is littered with good intentions:
‘I'm a human being. I've got opinions, I'm not always right, I'm not always on time, I don't always say things in the proper way, but my intentions are always extremely pure’ – Kanye West
‘When you left the house today, you had the intention of putting clothes on and you did. You didn't try to put your pants on today. You simply put them on. The same has to hold for all of our intentions. We don't try to be more loving partners. We make the intention, and we act on it’ – Patch Adams
‘Looking back, I'm really happy with the choices I've made in my career. I know for a fact I could be wealthier. Who knows, maybe I could be more successful, maybe not. I don't know. But just about every single thing I've ever done I've gone into with the right intentions, and that goes a long way’ – Paul Rudd
‘Good intentions never change anything. They only become a deeper and deeper rut’ – Joyce Meyer
‘I am sure of nothing so little as my own intentions’ – Lord Byron
Someone once described human good intentions as ‘the single largest pool of untapped natural resources in the world that are never translated into actions’!
‘Our actions are the results of our intentions and our intelligence’ – E Stanley Jones
If we’re going to build a tower, first we need to work out if we can see it through with the right materials and the strength required. Nothing we ever do in the Lord’s name is ever in vain – he knows that we are weak, like the grass of the field, but he still calls us to be his co-workers and he will partner with us to bear fruit if we will let him.
‘As long as the roots are not severed, all is well. And all will be well in the garden’ – Chance the gardener (Being There)
‘The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail’ – Isaiah 58:11
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