Traditionally, during Mother’s Day, people fills the nurseries, department & hardware stores, churches and restaurants. It is celebrated in countless different ways. Because of her stroke, my mother was not able to go out this year.
A few weeks ago, my wife had an idea to purchase a surprise gift of small raised green house for my mother. With the help of a few friends, we were able to assemble it; it took the 3 of us 4 hours but we got it done.
It take a team with different strength to assemble this beautiful gift.
Some things I learned while assembling:
It takes planning to get things right
The little greenhouse came with instruction book full of pictures but with minimal texts and dozens of parts. If you are like me, I hate looking at instructions and get intimated by illustrations. Since I don’t like reading “assembly” instructions, I just try to figure it out myself and consequently, there are times that I find extra nuts and bolts after I finish the assembly. Of course, I have to disassemble again and then painfully read the manual to get things right.
Similarly, we need to seek the ministry strategy through the life’s manual that God has given us – the Bible. If we seek and ask for wisdom, He will give it to us. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in our every action. God cannot be contained by few methods and procedures. In the OT, Joshua and King David have to ask God what to do every time they are about to go in a battle. They learned that God would provide them strategies that work at the right time. They found out that the same plan that worked in the past does not necessarily work in other situations.
It takes a team with different gifts and talents to implement the plan
As I was assisting my friend in assembling the greenhouse, I noticed that as soon as he look at the instruction, he would work fast as if we have to finish it right away. I found out that he likes doing puzzles. In piecing pieces together, there are times that you tap in your zone and things just fit together; you work faster and with enthusiams. It actually energizes him when things are just happening.
A great team starts with great relationships
His brother also came with him to help us out. I’m glad he came because he is a strong man with strong back. He took care of shaving the grass where we will place the greenhouse. Of course, he has to rest regularly to cool down and stretch his back. He was also good in using the electric saw and building the base for the greenhouse.
It’s a journey
As we were on the last stages of the assembly, we bonded closer together. We all have learned together and gained more insights in assembling complicated stuff. In ministry, God would take us on a journey. Sometimes it’s long, sometimes it’s short. There are times that the journey is hard and painful. The journey helps us to learn from God and from others. The journey is necessary to know each other and to bond together. We cannot shorten the journey or we will miss other things, or parts when assembling things. The journey should be welcomed and enjoyed. The journey could also be our pit stop or our destination (we will take a look at this paradox in the Kingdom in the future).
Merlin, Rudy and Ray
After assembling the greenhouse, we made sure that all the parts were working and they all did! We walked around it and appreciated each other as we admired our work. We shake hands and congratulated one another for a job well done. We all realized that each of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. We recognized our contributions but all of us got the credit for the finished product. We knew that by ourselves, the greenhouse will not be completed (in 4 hours).
So, you’re wondering what I did. I assisted in some assembly, in constructing the base, provided drinks and food. Later that day, I put the compost and planted several vegetables.
My mom Norma had a stroke but she is now able to tender her own garden.
My mother was very happy upon seeing the completed project. She was all smiles as she sat near her garden. I gave her the water hose and she proceeded to water the young plants. The next morning, she woke up early and visited her brand new garden.
God teaches us all the time. We just need to be mindful of His presence and the promptings of the Holy Spirit. We can find God even in assembling a “tiny” greenhouse.