Fruit of the spirit in the garden


The Verse of the Day for March 19, 2018 provides a list of “the fruit of the spirit” offered in the New International Version:

Galatians 5:22-23:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

This familiar passage brings to mind God’s desire that our lives should always abound in fruitfulness. No matter the season, we should always bring forth fruit, so says the Psalmist in the first Psalm, the first passage of scripture committed to memory as a youngster back in the middle of the 20th Century. It describes the man of God I continue to strive to be:

Psalm 1:1-3 (KJV):

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

A personal metaphor often used to describe my life is “a garden,” a place where the fruit of the spirit should so abound that those whom I encounter will partake of bounty of my life and be nourished and refreshed by my fruitfulness.

The following poem makes reference to such a place where the fruit of the spirit flourishes; here I cultivate those attributes which reveal a fruitful, bountiful life:

I Sing in My Garden

Oh, sing unto the LORD a new song!

Sing to the LORD, all the earth.

Sing to the LORD, bless his name;

 Proclaim the good news from day to day.

 Psalm 96:1-2


I sing in my garden and reap the good,

The bounty of living seventy-five years.

Each note seems to evoke a stream of tears

That fall, not because of some somber mood

But flow from a heart filled with gratitude.

The folk song of the farmer thrills my ears

Each time plowing, planting or harvest nears.

I compose my song, having understood

Lyrics I did not know when I was young,

When life was uncertain, my song unsure.

Now from my green garden I garner truth.

A song of conviction flows from my tongue.

I am seasoned and strengthened to endure,

Knowing the best lines are yet to be sung.

In thinking about life as a garden, the familiar gospel song often heard as we approach Resurrection Sunday comes to mind: “In the Garden” sung by Alan Jackson:

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