From my window, I see my personal Garden of Eden. Rhododendron bloom. A blue jay perches on a railing. A woodpecker attacks suet. Squirrels nibble scattered seeds. Dew sparkles the lawn.
Geraniums, begonias, petunias and other varieties I can’t name spill from containers. A blue sky offers a backdrop to the forest, where trees recently turned green after the stark silhouettes of winter.
This is my happy place. Each morning I come here to talk with God, to read my Bible and pray, to praise God for Who He is and thank Him for His grace.
But my Garden of Eden is not a perfect place. This year the rhododendron sports only a dozen blooms, while other years blossoms covered the stalk. Birdhouses nailed to the side of a shed stand empty. Blackbirds crowd songbirds from feeders. Blue jays—selfish, bossy creatures—chase smaller birds away.
This year my husband applied what he thought was fertilizer as he planted our flowerbed. But when marigolds and petunias turned brown, he realized he had once added weed killer to that fertilizer to spread on the lawn. The bed had to be replanted. No hummingbirds have come by for a few days now. I need to refresh their feeders before they turn moldy.
Isn’t this how it is with life? There are the bright spots—the good health, the smooth relationships, the rewarding job. But then there are the niggling details that spoil perfection—the cancer, the argument, the annoying coworker.
The challenge is to focus on the good rather than the imperfect. The challenge is to see the good in others rather than their faults, the gorgeous blooms rather than the wilting plants.
Were I to focus on the imperfections of my Garden of Eden, I would see a deck that needs painting. Much to my husband’s dismay, squirrels sometimes take over the bird feeder. A rabbit dug a hole for a nest smackdab in the middle of our yard. I could get in a snit about all that and fail to enjoy the beauty.
But focusing on the negative is like focusing on the floater in my vision that recently annoyed me. Leftover from laser surgery to clear scar tissue, the floater was quite prominent when I looked at a plain wall. But in the busyness of the day, I forgot about it since 99.9 percent of my vision was clear.
I need to look at life like I look at my vision and my backyard Eden. Forget the imperfections and enjoy the grace of God. We all have much to be thankful for if we focus on the good and count our blessings. Here we go: 1, 2, 3, 4 . . . .