What is “—the place where my thoughts collect and form into order?”
from “November 5th,” A Day at A Time
Gardeners, aren’t we quick to answer the prompt of this little book with great delight: My garden is the place! Whether “my” garden is the yard out back, pots on a patio or window sill, or a public park I walk through regularly, how happy I am, O Lord, to have a place to ponder you. As I work with my hands or wander about, the sights and wonders I take in through my senses fill me, aligning me with your majesty and wisdom.
How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all
Psalm 104:24 NIV
Immersed in garden work, my thinking becomes ordered, prioritizing the demands of the day under the influence of fresh air, subtle splendor, and God’s infusing promise. The routine of watering, raking leaves, and other putterings ground my former fears in His grandeur and goodness.
This week I spied a new coneflower bloom, mysteriously volunteered despite the falling leaves that signal winter’s coming. “May I feel God’s mystery there, and an overwhelming sense of energy,” the little book goes onto say, as if foretelling the excitement of finding a flower that defies the change of seasons.
Arise my darling; my beautiful one, come with me.
Song of Songs 2:13 NIV
Once the winter keeps me inside, I must keep “the place where my thoughts collect and form into order.” This little book suggests that an appointment with God in prayer and meditation is just that: a structure, implying dimension and fortitude. My thoughts need God’s shelter and guarding to be ordered in His ways.
Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
Psalm 119:27 NIV
Come with me, the Lord calls, to understand your difficulties will not defeat you. Through my hassles, may I hail the One who has called me according to his purpose. My garden welcomed me into the protection of God’s presence with delight these spring and long summer months, ordering my thoughts alongside His goodness that I could taste and see every day. Yet as sojourns to the garden subside, I am reminded that the Lord’s call remains, ushering me to His secret place. It is not the garden, after all—His presence itself is the place.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.
Psalm 89:15 NIV
Quotations from “November 5th,” A Day at a Time, ©1976 CompCare Publishers, ISBN 0-89638-000-9
Photo Credits: ©2014 Shelley S. Cramm This little treasure, A Day at a Time, was passed down to us from my husband Topher’s father, Dr. Richard E. Cramm. Above, the book open to November 5th, pictured with a blooming lorapetalum shrub during drizzly morning. Below, the small treasure nestled in fallen redbud leaves.