The Garden of Life
Today’s nuggets come from Michaela Owen, a 16 year-old home schooled young lady. Tomorrow’s nuggets come from her younger brother, Reagan Owen. These two awesome individuals, along with their dad, Drew Owen, helped me to put in the garden this year. I use my garden to teach life skills to the youth. By following the principles in the law of the farm we did the planting in less than one hour. Michaela’s report has not been edited. Here it is. Enjoy it and share it!
Similarly to planting a garden, one's life takes work in order to accomplish success. Planting a garden, as well as most phases in life, require these seven principles in order to prosper: Purpose, Planning, Preparation, Planting, Prevention, Protection, and Performance.
1. Purpose - Why am I setting this goal? A farmer's purpose is generally to produce an abundant crop. For a Christian, although it can often be difficult, it is important to have God's purpose in mind. Romans 8:28 (NIV) "And we know that all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."
2. Planning - How am I going to plan success? First, a farmer plans ahead. He chooses the seed, and decides where to plant. It is important for Christians to pray, trust, and ask for wisdom from God when it comes to plans. What is God's plan? What doors has He opened? Jeremiah 29:11(NIV) "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'Plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.'"
3. Preparation - How am I going to prepare, to better ensure I reap a good harvest? A farmer puts in an immense amount of work preparing his field.
4. Planting - All of the thinking, planning, and preparation mean nothing, if one does not actually plant. How can one expect a harvest, if one has not yet sowed?
5. Prevention - A farmer will do his best in order to prevent wild animals from getting into his garden. In a sense, one's heart can be compared to a garden. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) says; "Above all else guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." The garden of one's heart is greatly affected by what is allowed into it, just like a farmer's garden. If a farmer allows weeds, or animals to get into his garden, it is quite plausible that the crops will languish. Galatians 6:8 (NIV) "Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
6. Protection - To a farmer, this is just as an important stage, as the planting itself. If he does not protect his field from weeds, it is very likely that he will not produce a great crop. Proverbs 2:7 (NIV) says; "He holds success in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless." This area can be applied to one's life, because one needs to guard one's heart and mind. This can include the kinds of shows and movies one watches, as well as the music one listens to, and the books one reads. Philippians 4:8 (NIV) says; "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." If it does not add up to this verse, it has to go. One must continually pluck out the weeds from one's thoughts, in order to protect and prevent corruption.
7. Performance - This is the stage where all of one's hard work comes together. All of the previous steps will have hopefully amounted to tremendous success. The more effort we put into the front end, the more superior the results of the harvest will be.
Thank you Michaela
Will you join my cause to fight mediocrity in the world? Pass these nuggets on to others.
We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.
Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)
Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy