“… in life, each person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders might take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they’re doing. Then they find they’re hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses its meaning when the building stops.
Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the many vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But, unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it requires the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the gardener to be a great adventure.
Gardeners always recognize one another, because they know that in the history of each plant lies the growth of the whole World.” –Brida, Paulo Coehlo (p. xiv)
The relationship of God to the human being has been a mysterious question perplexing the world’s greatest mystics, seekers, and students. In developing my own personal relationship, I have been introduced to amazing women with practical, active experiences with applying spiritual principles to their life to nurture this relationship further. I am reminded of one woman’s words: “A gardener doesn’t grow, he provides the conditions for plants to grow and God does the growing. A doctor doesn’t heal, he provides the conditions for the body to heal and God does the healing. And people never change. People provide the conditions for their character to change and God does the changing.”
This idea of becoming an active channel and allowing God to work through me forces me into a humbling position. On one hand, I have to accept my inconsistencies and inabilities as a human being. I lack any power in deciding the course of my life. I never do for myself; the most I am capable of is becoming open to God’s grace and allowing it to flow through me, guiding my actions. On the other hand, I become empowered when I choose to accept this grace, discovering choice and opportunity in all of my affairs. And if I were to accept this grace, allowing my Creator, a magical alchemist responding to the intentions of a physical environment, to work through me, then what of love? If I am not responsible for any kind of transformation and solely responsible for building the conditions for the transformation to occur, then what exactly is love but a reaction to conditions, an impartial, consistent result of an equation that occurs when I plug in the right variables? And how am I to build these conditions and then trust that their result is divinely-inspired, divinely-delivered, and divinely-ordained? Are my choices as limited as surrender to this system or defy the laws of God?