Last week, I announced my next book project, which I will entitle Life is a Garden: Can You Dig It? It will look at the issues of creativity, personality, productivity and purpose as they relate to what I refer to as your Garden Work, the condition that existed in the Garden of Eden before the Fall. Since Jesus came to restore and reconcile all things, and that includes not just your salvation, but reconciling the entirety of who you are and what you were created to do to God.
I have one more project to tell you about, but I am not ready to announce this week, for I still have some thoughts about Life is a Garden. This week I have been reading Tim Keller's book, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Work and he also writes about the concept of your life's work being similar to the practice of gardening:
Nor are we to 'pave over the garden' of the created world to make it a parking lot. No. we are to be gardeners who take an active stance toward their charge. They do not leave the land as it is. They rearrange it in order to make it most fruitful, to draw the potentialities for growth and development out of the soil. They dig up the ground and rearrange it with a goal in mind: to rearrange the raw material of the garden so that it produces food, flowers and beauty. And that is the pattern for all work. It is creative and assertive. It is rearranging the raw material of God's creation in such a way that it helps the world in general, and people in particular, thrive and flourish.
This pattern is found in all kinds of work. Farming takes the physical material of soil and seed and produces food. Music takes the physics of sound and rearranges it into something beautiful and thrilling that brings meaning to life. When we take fabric and make a piece of clothing, when we push a broom and clean up a room, when we use technology to harness the forces electricity, when we taken an unformed, naive human mind and teach it a subject, when we teach a couple how to resolve their relational disputes, when we take simple materials and turn them into a poignant work of art - we are continuing God's work of forming, filling, and subduing. Whenever we bring order out of chaos, whenever we draw out creative potential, whenever we elaborate and 'unfold' creation beyond where it was when we found it, we are following God's pattern of creative cultural development.
Keller said it well, and there is no need for me to say it an differently, until I start and complete my book. Then you will have my take on the matter. So have fun this week 'gardening,' no matter what your line of work. Apply your creativity to make God's world a better place to live and know that, as you do, you are engaging in what God intended from the beginning, your Garden Work. Have a great week!