When we moved into our house a few years ago, most of our four acres were pretty well
overgrown. There used to be a beautiful veggie garden, and a lower meadow (well, that’s what we call it) that was kept as a little golf course. Edward, the previous owner, had become too ill to keep up with it, and then the house was vacant for a while. This is what the meadow looked like before…It was full of burrs and thistles and the most horrifying ginormous spiders (foul Ungoliant spawn!!!!).
We had started taming the land little by little as we could. We re-established the garden, freed some terrific grape vines that were overgrown with sour grapes and liberated many lovely flowering trees and bushes. I found a lilac and some rose of Sharon! It was a huge task with just a machete and our sad push-mowers. My mother-in-law gifted us with a riding mower and that changed everything! We had the time to get more done, and to tackle things that otherwise were insurmountable. After a few weeks of having the overgrown insanity cut down, grass began to grow—legitimate grass!
It’s amazing to me that after all that time dormant, being kept down by wild things trying and succeeding in taking over, the grass only needed a bit of space and sunshine to make its comeback. What had been perfectly unusable is now a delightful place to play or just stay.
How much like the meadow we are…We get so full of worries and cares, so bogged down with business overrunning our lives and taking away our freedom of spirit. It just takes a bit of pruning and a bit of fresh air to make us right again. God offers us in our Tradition so many ways to be refreshed and renewed every day—particularly through prayer. If you don’t pray every day, you wouldn’t believe what just a few minutes of quiet time with God can do for you. At Mass we pray that God will protect us from anxiety; to help us avoid being overrun by distractions and worries that suppress what we are meant to be—prayer is the fixer.
It’s as easy as reflecting on something beautiful! Paul tells us that, “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4: 8) All of these attributes are from God. Spending time with any of them leads our minds to their Origin. Take advantage of the gift of quiet reflection and whatever beauty is in your life and let God take down the weeds and vines that strangle you. Give yourself some space to let God cultivate in you what He planted in you so that it can grow and thrive.