“Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” -The Message
I do not have a green thumb. This is the time of year I notice that serious gardeners start to get busy. Some people love to dig in the dirt, communing with the very earth from which we were created and will one day return. I respect that, but it’s not my delight. However, I do love fresh homegrown tomatoes. Picked right off the vine, warm from the sun, nothing tastes quite like it—and I believe that is how God intended for them to be eaten!
Ironically, I cannot kill a houseplant. I have two small indoor varieties in my kitchen that have cohabitated with me for the past 10 years. After a number of unsuccessful attempts for a fruitful backyard garden, I found victory in container gardening! I’d fill a big terra cotta pot with purchased potting soil, nestle a “starter” tomato plant down into the dirt, insert some sturdy stakes or cage for support, water, and wait. Not much effort, easy maintenance, and delicious, heavenly tomatoes later in the season.
A few years ago I heard about a new, interesting approach to growing tomatoes. Plant them upside down in a pot with a hole in the bottom, fill with topsoil, and then hang the pot, letting the vines grow down. Intrigued, I bought a Topsy Turvy planter designed for this very method. Sadly, I didn’t plant tomatoes that year because we had a dog and I heard dogs are allergic to tomato plants. My neighbor across the street angelically shared the abundance of her tomato harvest.
Years have passed since then (as did the dog) and I still haven’t used my Topsy Turvy. I haven’t grown any tomatoes, either, waiting for the right conditions. One year I procrastinated until too late in the season, and couldn’t find any plants. The following year, having been told that upside down tomato planters are quite heavy and need a lot of support, I couldn’t figure out where to hang it. So, the season passed (again), giving me time to plan the best way to provide a sturdy support system by next year. I avoided my neighbor, coveting her fresh tomatoes. I made concessions for the costly and intrinsic difference of store-bought tomatoes. But truthfully, I just really miss those fresh, summer ripened tomatoes, the way that God intended for me to enjoy them.
Well, it’s planting season again. I have a few choices. I can make excuses, procrastinate, stockpile more resources, and continue paying dearly for tomatoes grown by someone else. I can hope for my neighbor to grow tomatoes and offer them to me again. OR I can get the thing out of the box, provide adequate support, assemble the necessary components, and nurture the plant while it grows. Then, in a short while, God will bless me with the fruit of the vine, the way it was intended for me to enjoy it.
I know what I should do….