It’s early Sunday morning and no one else in the house is up. Drawn by the freshness of the autumn sunshine casting pools of gold among the shadows, I divert my morning prayer time to the garden.
What a beautiful, peaceful, perfect place to be first thing: the light, the birdsong, the noisy rush of water, the warming taste of coffee against the cool air, the creamy smoothness of my journal pages, and all the signs of life in the garden – the recently planted showing signs of being established now, the further outstretching of old plants, the continued neon flowering of a fuchsia, the unseasonal tiny honeysuckle blooms and spring bulb shoots, the new growth on plants I’d thought lost completely to this summer’s heatwave.
It’s an Eden of a place where, as I breathe it in, my mind and soul find peace and rest.
There are plenty of jobs to be done (I’m making a mental list!) but that doesn’t detract from the peace. In fact, it strikes me that if the original Eden was a garden, there would always have been jobs to do there too. That’s the nature of a garden.
So Eden – perfection – isn’t necessarily a final finished product; it’s a process, an attitude, a sense of contentment in the ongoing task of ‘intermingling all things together for good’. Perfection is not in the completion; it is in the doing.
God placed Adam in the original Eden to be His fellow gardener and carry out all the tasks required by the changing seasons, to respond to the changes that result from different weather and ongoing growth. And now He has placed us in the Edens of our lives and circumstances surely to do the same. Eden is not a finished product but an ongoing process of discovery and adaptation and active shaping of our world in full partnership with God. What an amazing privilege and opportunity!