Summer is crawling its way into our South African days. Our morning jogs are enhanced by a plethora of new smells. Some of them are so delightful that one feels tempted to stop on the sidewalk of the house and just stay for the rest of the day. Other smells have the effect of a sudden acceleration. Some lawns are currently covered with dung; the precious topsoil used for the stimulation of growth.

What Irony! That crap could be used as a growth mechanism. Each morning we see the new grass emerging from the layers of pungent sod. It’s magical.

Earlier today I prayed in my study. The window is tinted; allowing me to see outside and restricting someone looking in. From my one-way window I observed a finch gathering building supplies for a new nest. Being concealed behind the pane of glass afforded me the luxury of gazing unobtrusively, being only a meter from my little friend!

It is good to be alive!

Suzette got a bonsai tree as a thank-you gift. She passed it on to me, the little guy – planted in 1998 serves as a visual of the fact of my ministerial life. My job is to move the precious plant to a place of optimum light, to water daily – God’s job is to make it grow. He is the Growth Giving God. The bonsai reminds me that ministry happens at pedestrian pace, if it doesn’t then we’re sacrificing something organic under the crushing wheels of industrialization.

To be honest with you my friend, I’m frustrated – part of me likes the sound of crushing wheels. My frustration are due mainly to the lack of fast results, the spectacular, the quick-fix-ego-building results; I’m frustrated that I’m not the Grower. Yet God is pruning me, throwing some dung on me – and like the grass I jog past I’m slowly emerging; and feeling the warmth of the Son. Like the finch I’m building a kingdom nest – but it takes time…

++ And I thank God that He’s the Lord of the harvest and the giver of growth, and I submit my life to Him ++

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Apostle Paul to the Corinthians