Peppers and Tomatoes

This is a recipe for LIFE.

Years ago, in the middle of spring, I walked outside into my yard with a small hand shovel in hand. I had a broad smile on my face just hearing the shuffle of seed packets in my top shirt pocket. I was going to plant the first garden in our new home, well until I met…her.

On the other side of my chain-link fence was my neighbor on bended knee. Immaculately dressed, makeup in place and hair perfect from her pin-curls the night before. The creased smile lines in the corner of her ninety year old eyes reflected years of wisdom and a joyful personality. She stood, her hands covered by gardening gloves, and smiled at me.

“What are you planting?” she asked.

“Peppers and tomatoes.” I replied.

She giggled slightly to herself and in a few short sentences, my elation to plant disappated. A few moments later, I was in the house and took the seed packets and placed them on the cabinet. I sipped some tea while her words resonated with me in a unique way.

First, she explained that unless I wanted spicy tomatoes, I should not plant a known ‘receptive’ tomato plants beside the pepper plant. Second, she explained to me that I had missed the peak of the planting season for our region and that I could plant them now, but the blooms would never reach their full potential. The fruit would be stunted because the weather will change before it can grow to its fullness. I recalled gazing over her nearly full grown beefsteak tomatoes pulling down the vines they grew on and the shuffle of the seeds in my shirt pocket. I wanted to do the right thing at the wrong time.

Have you ever attempted to start a business, change jobs, buy a car or house and no matter what you did, it just didn’t seem to work. How about the times you may have done everything by the book but the outcome still didn’t happen the way you intended and you stand there staring over all the work you poured into it wondering what in the world happened? Well, perhaps you were planting out of season.

What is planting out of season?

“And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” K. J. V. Psalms 1:3

There are five parts to the answer to this question that will answer the questions spinning around in your head. For the sake of the length of this blog, I will address the first one…peppers and tomatoes.

Part 1 “Be Planted

It isn’t enough to just believe in something. Faith without works is dead. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” K. J. V. James 2:26. It is necessary to put actions behind what you believe in. Now, you may be thinking, ‘I did. I applied for that new job’. That is exercising faith in getting the new job. What have you applied to your relationship with God lately?

With financial concerns, children home, work responsibilities and everything else that encompasses our lives, it is easy to fly through an entire day and not spend time reading our Bible or even praying before we start our day. Negative thoughts can swell in our minds before we even get out of bed. We need to be planted in God firmly. When I selected my plot for my garden, I selected a plot of land that had lots of sun and good access to water.

Be selective as to where you draw your spiritual food from. I wanted my plants to get direct sunlight with no obstructions. Likewise, when you select a church or reading material you will build your spiritual life on, make sure that it is the pure untainted world of God. You see, that is what my neighbor was warning me about.

She told me that tomatoes have a very receptive nature. They will absorb the flavor of the plants that are planted beside them. As they grow, they draw that flavor. Thus, a tomato plant that grows beside a hot pepper plant (as mine were destined to be), would have become tomatoes with a spicy flavor. A key to being planted is in making time to read your Bible for yourself and draw directly from the source so that what you become and develop into what truly what God intended for you to be.

Today, it is easy to adopt attributes of others especially since they can reach into the palm of our hand and be accessed with a click of a social media app. Guard what is precious to you. Regardless of your age and position in life, we are all still growing and developing into what God is calling us to be and need to be planted in fertile ground with access to the word of God daily.

Key: What you plant yourself beside will affect what you become.

You may get dirty

Planting is gratifying but it requires getting out of our normal clothes, changing your position and getting into it with your hands. It takes work. It requires digging, weeding, and then pruning. The work doesn’t just end when you cover that precious little seed. It just begins.

Part 2 Coming in Episode 2

What you plant yourself beside, will affect what you become. -K. A. BRYANT

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2 Comments Add yours

    1. K. A. BRYANT says:

      Truly glad to hear it. Thanks for reading it!


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