On some occasions, I have found it quite challenging to be "good". Ok, you got me... On almost all occasions, "good" is a well orchestrated production for me to accomplish. Unfortunately, my face is one of those faces that reads like a play book of my emotions before one single word ever leaves my mouth. A horrible diagnosis of Resting B**** Face feels like its the thorn in my flesh most days. Please be patient, God isn't finished with me yet. Ha!
The fact of the matter is that "goodness" just doesn't come easy for any of us.
Willow, my two year old spitfire, is a prime example of this. If she is not getting what she wants, there is only 30 seconds between a sweet, chubby cheeked cherub and a siren wailing, red faced beast. The older I get, you'd think I'd be somehow removed and recovered from my own toddler-esque outbursts. But honestly, I'm not. Too many times I find myself clinging to my own expectations of myself and others, and desperately trying to get what I want. Ironically, what I want is what I perceive as "goodness". On and on the cycle goes, be good, do good, get good-er...
In all of this struggle it is still "goodness" that we are called to as fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no Law..."
So, how is it that we can plot fruitfully to have goodness in our lives? What does this fruit look like?
A garden. The garden. Eden... "Plotting" our "plot", the garden of goodness is our inheritance in Christ.
And just like any garden, it takes work. Even the best gardens so full of fruit and blooms that you gasp at their beauty. They start with dirt, some fertilizer (if you know what I mean), and work, work, work. Heaving, digging, planting, waiting..... work. However, it is not the work that makes a good plot. The garden of goodness doesn't come to fruition with out 3 more things:
Living Water, Fresh Wind of the Holy Spirit, and the light of The Son.
These things you cannot control, and no amount of striving and work will bring them about to grace your plot. BUT you can invite them in... You can partner with God to take all of your toiling and make it flourish! He will take all that you have sown in your plotting, and give you the plot of goodness:
"'But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,' declares the LORD of hosts. 'For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things." Zechariah 8:11-12.