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In the Garden or Not?

There are many qualities that distinguish generations of Americans, one is gardening.

I suspect that most people who garden today probably grew up helping their parents garden. Many of them probably did not like doing it at the time. Perhaps they were forced to garden as youngsters and vowed that they would never have a garden when they grew up and left home.

My grandparents gardened for survival and all the kids had to help. My mother continued to garden throughout her life for pleasure. We children were not forced to help. I saw my parents do it, but I was not raised up gardening. Today, I do not garden.

I am mildly amused by the parents who lament that their children are self centered, want immediate wealth without effort and believe that others owe them something. These parents are shocked and surprised by such behavior because they themselves were raised to work hard and they learned to sacrifice. They continued to work hard and sacrifice while raising their children. They expected that their children would share those same values - - but they don’t. I believe the reason is quite obvious; the children were raised differently than their parents.

These children did NOT grow up having to work hard. They NEVER had to sacrifice and they NEVER had to do anything for anyone but THEMSELVES. Their parents trained them to sit while adults hovered around them and did all the work! So the parents should not be surprised when the kids grow up to be good at doing exactly that! How could they even possibly know how to do anything else? We become the kind of person that we are trained to be.

(Prov 22:6) “Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.”

The church is just like gardening. The generation before us grew up working hard to build the church, but later generations who were “raised” in the church often believe the primary purpose of the church is to do for them. Many are takers not givers. Many expect only to receive from the church and think that the “church” ought to be entertaining to them! (That is reversing among many of our youngest ones now who are growing up with a desire to give and do for others!)

Working -- in the church, and in life -- is not a hardship but a blessing! Few will have this blessing that did not learn it early in life. Don’t rob your children of the blessings of hard work, sacrifice and serving God in their lives.

- Tim Orbison


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