Monday, May 23, 2011

In Search of Balance

I know there are so many people who take all the hype about pesticides with a grain of salt. They figure the government wouldn't actually allow us to be slowly poisoned to death, so why waste money on fancy food? Why waste time and energy thinking about how to raise a garden without Miracle-Gro, Sevin dust and Roundup? I get it. I really do. Most people are so overburdened with our fast-paced American merry-go-round they don't really have time to think about it. I guess I'm just not most people. That's not always good. Sometimes I go so far overboard that I add more stress to my life than is healthy. But I find that what I'm ultimately striving for is balance. Isn't that the main thing lacking in this merry-go-round, anyway? We are constantly struggling against the push and pull of family, work, and worship. Those of us who are believers understand that all of those things should exist in harmony within the context of our relationship with the Creator; that our first and utmost priority is relationship, and He will balance the rest in His power. But living that? Well, that's a different story, isn't it?

We get so caught up in going and doing that we fail to just be! To be in His presence, exist in His love, exercise in His guidance. I find it interesting that one of the most recognized scriptures on this subject is actually an agricultural metaphor: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NIV)" For me, this resonates! My garden provides for me such respite, and has become a daily reminder of God's provision, His closeness and His peace. To remain in Him is to allow Him to acheive the balance I so desperately need in my life. I can dig my hands in the dirt and see it alive with activity; the natural balance of good bugs and bad bugs striving in a constant tension that creates an energy I can feel. It is healing; it is peaceful. To use chemicals to totally wipe out that life and that energy seems more glaringly unnatural now than ever before. It seems, somehow, arrogant and ignorant to use man-made methods to try and improve on the system God created. Chemicals know nothing of abiding. Rather, they rush ahead, ignore wisdom and invite folly. They destroy balance and make a mockery of stewardship.

I spend a lot of time reading about the science of this. How the bugs we can see improve the soil by keeping it aerated and fertilized or serve to keep harmful insects in check. The microorganisms we can't see add nutrients and flavor to the food. To strip the garden of these things is to deprive our bodies (and our tastebuds) of many benefits. To add unnaturally high levels of artificial sources of nitrogen to the soil imparts harmful levels of nitrates to the produce we consume. Yet, I believe I would have chosen this path if I had no knowledge of the science that backs up the truth I feel within. The search for balance is all around us. Ultimately, it is found in the Savior. And He chose to reveal it in His creation. Many times in scripture, He chose to teach us through the example of creation, and I believe He is still teaching now. To be a part of that daily lesson through the serene and balanced example of natural gardening is a blessing.

No comments:

Post a Comment