Yesterday, we started working on the community garden at church. After weeks of rain-outs and equipment rescheduling, the field had been plowed and awaited tilling. The gentleman who’s helping me organize this journey emailed me to let me know that the area was filled with rocks that would need to be removed before we could till.
Yesterday, I went up the church a little early so I could start that process while folks were eating dinner. I wanted the
soil to be ready when our group came out for the next step of preparation. I started off in the garden in my gardening boots, a tshirt and shorts, hair pulled up in a ponytail with a baseball cap on. I thought this would be cool enough, but even in the 6pm sun, I was hot and sweaty within 30 minutes.
As I crouched in the middle of the field, I looked at what lay behind and what lay ahead. I won’t lie; it made me grumpy. I was already feeling a bit challenged in other areas of my life, and I just wanted to come to the garden for refuge and peace–not to pick out rocks. As the perspiration rolled down my neck and the backs of my legs, I could feel the red dirt clinging to my skin. I am sure I wasn’t “glowing,” rather, I was coated in a film of earth.
In an effort to make the job go more quickly, I quit carrying the rocks to the side and started pitching them to the grass. I use the term “pitching” loosely as little aim was involved, but there I stood, tossing rocks to the side hoping that I’d make progress–here and in life in general.
You see, for someone who strives daily to be centered and find peace, challenging times often fill me with frustration and longing. Because I am a passionate person, I have a tendency to get hot and bothered, just like I was out in that field. I end up being one of my own challenges–wishing I could just overlook issues nonchalantly and move on to the next thing. I forgetting that my passion is not just a bane but a also blessing–it drives me to be who I am, even if I do have a hard time letting go now and again.
But what I realized in that field last night is that sometimes, I just have to “pitch the rocks.” It’s not fun or easy, but it’s
part of life’s journey, just like removing stones last night was a part of the garden process. Pitchin’ the rocks can be about letting go of the stuff that’s bothering you or releasing some of the frustration building up inside. Pitchin’ rocks is also a reminder that sometimes, life is just filled with those moments that we have to live through, but it clears the way for the next steps.
When my friends came out to join me in the garden, I stepped over to the side. As we surveyed the field, they commented on how it was ready to plow–free and clear from all the rocks. Within the hour, we had plowed our section.
And so as I get ready to walk out the door this morning, I know that there will be some stones in my garden. Pitchin’ rocks is sweaty and dirty work, but it’s preparing me for the blessings that will soon follow.