The past two days, in glorious sunshine, I have been building a pergola? an arbour? Well, a wooden structure in the back garden. It has been planned in my head, recast, re-planned for last several months, as problems have been thought through, and plans adapted in the light of that thinking. It needed four hands to erect it, so the happy combination of good weather and a visit from our son enabled the structure to be built. Wobbly and unsteady at times, before all the joins were made, it stands steady now. Some finishing touches still need doing, but the effect I am hoping to achieve will take two or three years; climbing plants need to grow all over it before it is 'finished'.
Gardeners believe in the future, it has often been said. Builders too. But more than that, gardeners believe in a good and stable future which allows time for growth and maturity, Gardens are always unfinished; there is always more to do. They are always a work in progress.
As is cultivating the soul. There is always more to learn and experience of the God who helps us hone our lives to a vision of completeness, who is always ahead of us, always calling us, always wanting us to add to the work in progress.
I am tired, and ache after the exertions of the last days. Soul cultivation can be tiring too. It can be sweaty and thirsty work, but there is always recourse to the never failing fountain of life. Even if the present reality doesn't match the hoped-for effect.