Gardening or Sheriff Duty?
by: Ellene Meece
"I made my transition from a sheriff to a gardener when I learned that Father Himself is a Gardener, not a sheriff. Father reserves the pruning for Himself; He does not let anyone else prune. The Greek word for vinedresser is georgos, meaning a farmer or husbandman who tills the ground. Our Father is the Farmer, and He knows something about cultivating and drawing out the seed.
"If we could surrender our sheriff's badge and turn in our ankle holsters for gardener's cultivating tools, we could effectively love those who are hurting. With God's help, we can learn to be farmers rather than sheriffs because our confidence is in the Seed of the Kingdom." So writes Bob Mumford of Lifechangers and author of The Agape Road.
This is a good word in the Marketplace where people often fail our expectations and exhaust their quota for being productive. Do we let them have it and cut them off? Or do we invest yet another round of coaching and extend a gardener's hand to develop those missing skill sets?
As always, it goes back to how our Heavenly Father deals with us and we in turn can deal with others -- whether in the workplace or at home.
"And He told them this parable: A certain man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but did not find [any]. So he said to the vinedresser, See here! For these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue also to use up the ground [to deplete the soil, intercept the sun, and take up room]? But he replied to him, Leave it alone, sir, [just] this one more year, till I dig around it and put manure [on the soil]. Then perhaps it will bear fruit after this; but if not, you can cut it down and out."
Jesus went on to relate several other parables about the Kingdom of God and how faithful persistence and nurturing brings out the seed of life to bear much fruit. I bet that extra year of cultivating made all the difference for the fig tree in the parable, just as the vinedresser knew it would.
Has the gardener of your soul made sure you grew up to be a fruitful tree where birds could come and build their nest and children could pick of the fruit in the summertime? Has He lovingly mulched around your roots and provided water to sustain you?
If you've been put into a leadership position in the workplace, take it as a gardening assignment. Lives are depending on your cultivating skills. It will go a lot farther than writing them up, reporting their failures or just expressing disgust. Your gardening skills just might grow the tree that provides shade for you down the road someday.
Ellene Meece lives in Meeker, Colorado and works with her husband in their natural resource company while running her own online store, http://www.Grandmastreasuresonline.com. Currently, she oversees the marketing for the FMIN Workplace Leaders Network and is on staff at the Meeker Chamber of Commerce.
Click here to go to Lifechangers website.
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