Don’t just use the garden. Care for it.


We live in a culture that focuses a lot on instant gratification. Entitlement issues in our generation have lead us to truly believing that we can have it all…and deserve to. The funny thing is, though, many of us want to see God do amazing things in our lives, but we want to do the absolute bare minimum amount of work ourselves.
While I am a firm believer in dreaming big dreams and reaching for the stars, I have been struck by a problem that I see in myself and almost everyone else around me (yes-even the “best” of Christians).

As a visionary and a dreamer, I will have these big ideas. Huge thoughts on my mission in life and how God may use me. However, in the midst of our big dreams, are we forgetting what is at the heart of the mission? Are we missing the point?

If you are an actor, are you so focused on fame and success that you turn down low paying PSA’s or projects that have messages you actually believe in?
If you are striving to be a speaker, are you hoping to speak in a packed theater of thousands, but won’t take the time to speak into the lives of the people God has already entrusted you to?

In the midst of following our dreams, I often think we forget that it is absolutely necessary and scriptural to care, tend to, and work hard at what God has already put on your plate. Genesis 2:15 says:

“The LORD God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it.”

God didn’t place Adam in the Garden of Eden only to sit back, eat delicious food, bask in the sun, and do nothing. God placed man there to tend, care for, and watch over the garden. Adam was entrusted to steward that place of beauty and maintain it.

Tim Keller quotes:

“Why not take a job now that pays less but does an awful lot of good for people?
Don’t just use the garden. Care for it.”

Are we so focused on the finish line that we ignore the people and things God wants us to care for now? Long term goals are great, but are we slacking off today and expecting a bright future tomorrow?

Tim Keller says that many of us view working as Pandora’s box. But if we stay in that mindset, dreading work and seeing it as a curse, we will feel purposeless. Why? Because we were made in God’s image. We were designed in the image of a creator, and we must create.

This doesn’t mean that you have to be a creative person. It simply means that we have all been designed with a desire in our hearts to care, tend, bring beauty, cultivate, create, and design. This will look very different to each of us. Why does God create and want so badly for us to create? The spirit brings order out of chaos. We have been trusted to steward a world that is completely chaotic…and we have an opportunity and responsibility to bring beauty to it.

Grounds keeping
Cleaning a house
Doing makeup
Saving a failing business
Grooming dogs
Caring for children

All of the things listed above are part of God’s design. No job is too small when you are bringing order and beauty to chaos.
When you find yourself frustrated and feeling purposeless, remember that God is trusting you to tend to the small things now…caring for your neighbors, your friends, your coworkers in your current situations before He blesses you and trusts you with a bigger task.

Don’t dread work. God is a creator and hard worker. We were made in His image and are designed to do the same.

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