Do you struggle with motivation? I don’t usually, the joys and challenges of ministry and particularly Intentional Interim Ministry are usually enough to get me out of bed ready to meet the day with energy and enthusiasm. But not lately.
Nova Scotia experienced a number of tragedies during the Covid-19 pandemic: the largest mass murder in Canadian history, a military helicopter crash while on exercise off the coast of Greece, and the crash of a Snowbird, on a cross country tour of ‘Inspiration’ killing their public relations officer. Between adapting to the closures, the shutdowns, learning new technology and being a pastoral presence with my congregation and the wider church, I ran on adrenaline for about 2 1/2 months. And then things became normalized. My energy and enthusiasm dropped, along with my motivation.
But a garden doesn’t wait till you are motivated! I planted a vegetable garden for the very first time this spring. I’ve wanted one since we moved into this house 8 years ago but was always so busy in the spring that it never happened. Being forced to stay home seemed like the ideal opportunity. My husband built me these beautiful raised beds.
Which now look like this!
Jesus used so many agrarian examples in his teaching: The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed… a sower went out to sow… I am the vine and you are the branches… and so on. The people he spoke with would have been primarily farmers, familiar with the routines of planting, weeding, fertilizing and harvesting. They would have known that crops don’t care if you are motivated, they need what they need when they need it. Like those early followers, I have learned this too.
So, each morning I get up, have some coffee (don’t expect ANYTHING of me before at least one cup of coffee!) and head out to water. It’s been unseasonably dry and hot here in Nova Scotia and watering takes more time than I had imagined. However, in the midst of the mundane chore of watering, there is joy and excitement as plants come up… one day there were seven potato plants up in the morning, by the time it was evening, there were thirteen!
Or these radishes that I had to thin! And ate their spicy goodness.
Getting out and watering and weeding early in the morning makes me feel that I have already accomplished something, which gives me a feeling of satisfaction and a sense that I can tackle the rest of my day too. It doesn’t matter that I didn’t feel like going out and doing it, I just did it. Someone wise once said to me, 80% of success in life is just showing up.
My hope and prayer for all of us that we just show up. However we may be feeling. Show up. You may be surprised at how often God shows up too!
And that’s my window on God’s world.