Just Ask the Gardener

not really our gardener

There are certain things you get used to.  When you grow up with electricity in every room, and with hot and cold running water, its easy to forget that most of the world’s population does not have those things.  The same is true in ministry.  On any given day, I will have students in my class from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Thailand and South Korea.  I have had students from Japan, China and Russia, but none right this minute.  Most days I don’t even think about it as this is “normal” where I live and work.

One of the blessings of the ministry I work in is the unique blend of individuals God has brought together to do the work.  My wife and I came from Georgia, but we have friends from Colorado, New Jersey and Alaska.  One couple came to serve with us after spending 16 years on the mission field in Nigeria.  Every person that’s here left behind a church that misses them; all of our fellow missionaries were church deacons, Sunday school teachers, youth leaders and such like back home.  I listened to a good sermon tonight about the three parables in Luke 15 delivered by our gardener.  Yeah I know, right?

If one of my students had a question from scripture, he or she could easily ask our campus minister or Bible teacher.  But would you take the same question to a bus driver?  I happen to be an ordained minister and a school bus driver.  Our gardener plants flowers and designs landscapes 6 days a week, and pastors a small Presbyterian church on the weekend.  He is just as qualified to answer Bible questions as our basketball coach – who has also traveled to Rwanda to teach English and to other countries doing medical missions.

Stephen Tracksel said “I am not a great man of God, I am a man of great God.”  The next time you turn on the tap or flip a light switch, try to remember where all blessings come from.  And the next time I wave at the gardener, I will try and do the same.  May we all be instruments of His will.

3 thoughts on “Just Ask the Gardener

  1. I have one student from Canada that I like to give a hard time about, you know, being from Canada. One day she was fed up and let me have it. “There is nothing wrong with being from Canada. You are gonna quit making fun of me or I’m not letting you have any maple syrup.”

    True story 😀

  2. Paul was a tent maker but I’d ask him.

    I have known pastors and even highly “qualified” pastors whom I wouldn’t go to for advice.

    On the other hand, I’ve known little old ladies and old farmers, many without much education, but who KNEW the Lord personally and lived in His presence. When a new Christian, I would ask them their opinion and they answered gently but with assurance and authority. I am thankful for their influence on my early Christian life. I found their words to be thoroughly grounded in Scripture and have passed on their words to others over the years.

    Degrees? I respect them but show me a life lived in the presence and power of God and I’ll take more notice.

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