There was a man lovingly tending his garden one day when a passerby stopped and admired his craft. He had travelled far but until now had been disappointed in what he had seen.
The stranger, an Englishman, stopped and glanced, then finding a need to comment, lingered and lent against the wall, propping himself up by stretching out a hand onto a rotting gate post. He was uncomfortable in the heat so wiped his brow by taking out a handkerchief from his jacket pocket and then, when suitable composed, said.
“Isn’t God wonderful. He gives us this sun, and then the rains, thereby turning everything that would otherwise remain a wilderness into what you have achieved here before my weary eyes.” He paused for a second, casting his vision over all what spread out before him then continued with a slight approving shake of his head. “A truly marvellous sight, you must be so proud of all your work.”
The tired, but patient gardener, rose to his feet and braced his back, rubbing it gently to ease away the strain of his labours, then turned to face his new devotee and replied in a concerned Scottish tone.
“Aye you’re right enough there, but he sends the rain at the wrong time and the sun when I want to do all my work. If only he was to ask me when I wanted them, then it would be more appreciated.”
The wanderer thought about this for a few seconds, nodding his head in agreement, until at last he made up his mind what to say.
“Yes, you are absolutely right there old chap, but how does the saying go….’you don’t always get what you want, you get what you need.’….Look at it that way my good fellow. Sometimes we should simply be grateful without complaint.” Silently he recalled how the Scots were never a race to expound on the joys of life.
The gardener, none too keen on the English in general, and never accustomed to looking at life in a charitable way, saw no reason to change that philosophy. Suitably refreshed from his toils and struggles in the husbandry of God’s fine soil quickly retorted.
“Aye you’re right enough there, but God needs me otherwise, left on his own, he would make a fine mess of my garden and no mistake. Did you notice some of the others that you passed on your way here!”
There is a moral in this story. One that few find.
It is that if we all work on our own, without engaging God or fellow human beings, we muck our lives up. That’s for sure!
No man alone can withstand a raging sea.
By pulling together, think how better the world would be!