Sunday, June 11, 2017

Garden of the Soul: Entering a Different Inner Space

“The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
            -Isaiah 58:11
The greenness, beauty and stillness of a garden help us enter a different space within. They help us access a good place mentally and spiritually—a place where we are at peace. Here there is no rush, no hurry to produce.
In each of us is an inner space where prayer resides and poetry springs forth. This inner garden is fruitful with creativity, connected-ness, prayer and inner peace.
Creativity comes forth from our inner garden. That creativity may bubble up in the form of poetry or photography. It might be a unique idea of how we can serve someone in our life. It could take the form of arranging flowers or painting.
This inner place is a space where we are relational. Often in the stress of life we become alienated from ourselves, and we need some room to reconnect with who we truly are. The solitude of the inner garden offers us just such an opportunity.
Prayer likewise grows in our inner garden. Here we reconnect with God in this inner sanctuary of the soul. “Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continuously return,” writes Thomas Kelley. It is “a holy sanctuary of adoration and of self-oblation, where we are kept in perfect peace, if our mind be stayed on Him who has found us in the inward springs of our life.”  [1]
Finally, the place of our inner garden offers us peace. Entering the garden of our soul is so essential for each of us. When we enter that mental space, that inner place, we step away from stress and worry. Our minds stop spinning with lists of things to do and decisions to make, and we find some stillness. This hidden place within is where our true self resides. This is not the self we try to project to the world or the self of achievement and activism; rather, it is where we are free to simply be.
Thus when we step into the garden mentality—away from the pressure to produce—we ironically find that this garden is bursting with produce! That produce, however, cannot be manufactured in an efficient production line—it can only be cultivated in peace.
[1] Thomas R. Kelley, A Testament of Devotion (San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1941, 1992), pp. 3-4. 
2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

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