“Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made.” ~ Genesis 2:8 (NLT)
I woke up early this morning and decided to walk outside to take pictures. The first day of vacation is always hard for me. I wake up early, feeling like I have to get something done. So, I walked around taking pictures, waiting for the sunrise. Everything I saw was beautiful.
I was reminded that God had made a beautiful garden for Adam and Eve to live in. That garden was probably unimaginably more beautiful than what I saw this morning. In Adam and Eve’s garden was everything that they needed to create a beautiful life. What I find fascinating is that rather than focus on all that they were given to freely cultivate and create, they focused on the one thing they didn’t have. One tree. They became obsessed with that one tree. I can only imagine all the trees growing in their garden. Those trees surely had wonderful fruit. But they decided that nothing was more important than obtaining a piece of fruit from that one tree.
More often than I care to admit, I do the same thing. I think about what I don’t have, totally overlooking what exists where God has placed me.
When I attended the 2015 ECHO International Agricultural Conference in Ft. Myers, Florida a few weeks ago, I learned so much more about utlizing what exists where we are to create a beautiful life. This conference was of course focused on agriculture but I found so many applications for my own life and my work in community development: a) focus on assets, b) collaborate with others who have skills and abilities that compliment your own, c) take care of people, d) quality matters, e) failure is information, and f) steward natural resources.
One of my goals is to keep my vision focused on seeing where God has placed me to create a beautiful life.
Where has God placed you?
“The kiss of the sun for pardon, the song of the birds for mirth, one is nearer God’s heart in a garden than anywhere else on earth.” ~ ECHO Global Farm
(Photo credits: Linda Freeman; red flower and sunrise, Key West, Florida, November 2015; ECHO Global Farm, Ft. Myers, Florida, November 2015)