This spring of 2021 feels like a wonderful renewal after a winter of hibernation and more than a year of physical distancing. It also gives us abundant hope, inviting us to know that we can plan for particular certainties.
An obvious certainty: If we plant tomato seeds and nurture those seeds properly, we have faith that we will harvest tomatoes. The same is true in our lives. Whatever goals we want to accomplish, we must do the tasks to achieve them.
So, to see the demonstration of our faith, let’s us begin with the end in mind. For example, if we want a relatively quick harvest, those tomatoes will be ready in anywhere from 60 to 100 days. But if we want apples, we must make a long-term commitment; apple trees can take 5 to 8 years to produce fruit.
To discern how to invest our valuable energy and time, and realize a fruitful crop, we can ask ourselves:
- Is this a short-term or long-term goal?
- Here, we imagine our harvest, being honest and specific about the desired outcome. For example, short-term might be updating a resume because we want a promotion or helping our child study multiplication to boost their grades. A long-term goal might be returning to school to earn a degree or nurturing our love relationship, so we have deeper connection with our partner.
- What resources do I already have and what additional ones do I need?
- This includes whatever tools and assistance are required. Consider everything from teachers, to coaches, to counselors, as well as money, books, equipment, and all necessary supplies.
- What is my ideal timeline for growth?
- Here, use a planner or calendar, make appointments and schedule as much as possible. Also, block specific times when you feel most energized and creative. Because some of us are night owls and others early birds, know when your energy flows best so you can maximize your creativity.
- What will nourish, sustain, and support me in my process?
- Here, we consider our own self-care like watering and fertilizing our garden. Too little, the crop dries up; too much, it drowns. For us, this includes whatever we need for our overall well-being: rest; exercise; nutrition; medical check-ups; and play-time, as well as our favorite forms of prayer, meditation, and contemplation.
- What distractions must I eliminate? What healthy boundaries must I establish?
- All master gardeners’ routines include pest control, weeding, and pruning, and so must ours. Here, we strive to eliminate what inhibits growth or absorbs vital nutrients. This may include activities that seem worthwhile but drain our life energy and take us off track. For example, if we are paying off debt or saving for a 2022 vacation, we might say “No” to a friend’s invitation to share an expensive dinner, but “Yes,” to having coffee and a pastry. This way we preserve and enjoy the friendship without straying from our financial plan.
- What mile markers can I enjoy before my great harvest?
- Celebrate each small victory, such as completing a semester, speaking without notes, passing a test, cutting up a credit card, and donating items we no longer use.
Remember, throughout this process, to rejoice in spring’s beauty as it leads into summer and unfolds into autumn. All our ancient traditions and farmers’ almanacs remind us, everything has its season, so honor yours with the gifts of patience and grace as you develop your plans and grow your own glorious garden.
© 2021 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.