The garden held promise. Fruit and vegetation of every kind was ours for the taking, and the hope of our lives was staked on it. It was paradise, it was Eden. Concrete jungles have replaced Eden's majesty as humanity seeks to carve out sustenance in a world fraught with weeds and thorns. Trash litters streets with the remnants of what humanity seeks its satisfaction in. But we were designed in the image of our Creator, and true satisfaction embraces our creative purpose, accepts the revelation of Christ, and returns to what is simple and good.
The Original Garden
Read Genesis 1:26-28 »
Work is Good
Making the earth a better place is one of our foundational purposes. This is our original destiny. Whether you're repairing cars, teaching, stocking shelves, or organizing a work force, work itself satisfies the deepest parts of you. Cooking food, cleaning house, caring for the world around you – This is what you were designed for. Don't begrudge it, be thankful for it, do it with gusto, do it with love. Every moment counts and what you do matters.
Is your work broken? Have you lost your ability to work? Loss of work leads to depression and despair, we lose admiration and respect, and we intrinsically sense our decreased value to our community. This discouragement can keep us from returning to work again, and a vicious cycle is started. The rhythm of restoration is a route to wholeness. It may be that one loss leads to another gain. Dive in, don't stop, find your restoration.
What if your work is flourishing? There are so many who could use your help, insight, and encouragement as they move forward. Consider mentoring someone who could use your help.
When Livelihood is Lost
Joni Eareckson Tada lost everything. This healthy athlete was paralyzed from the neck down as a young woman. Her story of perseverance has been an inspiration for others for generations.
Back to the Earth
Regardless of what you do for your vocation, take some time to get your hands dirty. There's something primally satisfying about caring for real earth, growing things in real dirt, or caring for animals. Dig in, get in touch with your roots, grow things, and make things. Deepest satisfaction awaits.
Holden Arboretum is a great place for a walk. Paths wind through acres of land, and each acre is planned thoughtfully, supporting the life within it. Butterfly bushes invite pollination, shade plants snuggle up under trees, and flowers bask in full sun. All of these provide shelter and food for the wildlife that lives there. If anything in Northeastern Ohio bears witness to the original garden of life, the garden of Eden, Holden Arboretum might be it.
Stroll through that garden, and a deep satisfaction settles in. The layers of life surround you with inspiration, offering a peace that is available in few other places.
This is how you were designed to live every day. Not just strolling in the garden, but using every creative bone in your body, the sweat of your brow, and with dirt on your hands, to create, grow, and bring life to your own property. Planning, building, planting, and shaping; putting the earth to work and reaping its fruits is more satisfying than anything we know. This is your destiny, this is your original purpose. Dive in with gusto.