A few weeks ago we sang In the Garden at church. I love the beautiful old hymn, but I hum it so often while I work in my gardens that it almost seems out of place in church. The words played softly through my thoughts on Sunday morning as I wondered through our damp and barren garden. There were no roses on which the dew could cling, but its drops hung on the fence and budding trees and gave the recently tilled earth the rich, sweet spell of spring.
How my soul craves those moments spent in the quietness of the morning. My mind sorts through the week and brings each thought captive, surrendering it to the one for whom my soul longs; giving up each care and worry with reckless abandonment. As my feet carry me slowly along on my stroll allowing me to gaze in leisurely wonder at the beauty of the morning, my soul runs headlong into the presence of my beloved and at that moment my heart follows hard after God. Before leaving the house I drank deep from the word and as I walked, scriptures and old hymns replaced thoughts of work and cares of life.
In those moments I wonder in amazement at my own sinful nature that so quickly forgets and returns to pursue worldly treasures and exchanges a heartfelt longing for God for the cares of this life so easily. Oh why do I not continue to follow hard in the pursuit of God and ever keep it a priority? Martin Luther once said that he had so much to do that he must surely spend at least three hours in prayer or he would never get though the day. Brother Lawrence claimed that he had so accustomed his soul to prayer and communion with God that his time in the kitchen was little different than his time in solitude and worship.
I find such great gladness when my heart seeks out its beloved and my soul finds pleasure immeasurable when I have sought His company. I want to linger there and it is with great reluctance that I must return to the duties of this life of dust.