Monday, September 28, 2015

I Am the Gardner

Hello friends and family :) Happy Monday.

I don't have much to write this week except share a story with all of you. In the General Women's Meeting of General Conference this weekend, President Uchtdorf shared a story with all of us, and asked us to apply it personally so that the Spirit could tell us what it's meaning and application was for us. Here's the story I've picked for this week:

I was living up in Canada. I had purchased a farm. It was run-down. I went out one morning and saw a currant bush. It had grown up over six feet (two meters) high. It was going all to wood. There were no blossoms and no currants. I was raised on a fruit farm in Salt Lake before we went to Canada, and I knew what ought to happen to that currant bush. So I got some pruning shears and clipped it back until there was nothing left but stumps. It was just coming daylight, and I thought I saw on top of each of these little stumps what appeared to be a tear, and I thought the currant bush was crying. I was kind of simpleminded (and I haven’t entirely gotten over it), and I looked at it and smiled and said, “What are you crying about?” You know, I thought I heard that currant bush say this:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. I was almost as big as the shade tree and the fruit tree that are inside the fence, and now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me because I didn’t make what I should have made. How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”
That’s what I thought I heard the currant bush say, and I thought it so much that I answered. I said, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down. Thank you, Mr. Gardener.’”
Years passed, and I found myself in England. I was in command of a cavalry unit in the Canadian army. I held the rank of field officer in the British Canadian army. I was proud of my position. And there was an opportunity for me to become a general. I had taken all the examinations. I had the seniority. The one man between me and the office of general in the British army became a casualty, and I received a telegram from London. It said: “Be in my office tomorrow morning at 10:00,” signed by General Turner.
I went up to London. I walked smartly into the office of the general, and I saluted him smartly, and he gave me the same kind of a salute a senior officer usually gives—a sort of “Get out of the way, worm!” He said, “Sit down, Brown.” Then he said, “I’m sorry I cannot make the appointment. You are entitled to it. You have passed all the examinations. You have the seniority. You’ve been a good officer, but I can’t make the appointment. You are to return to Canada and become a training officer and a transport officer.” That for which I had been hoping and praying for 10 years suddenly slipped out of my fingers.
Then he went into the other room to answer the telephone, and on his desk, I saw my personal history sheet. Right across the bottom of it was written, “THIS MAN IS A MORMON.” We were not very well liked in those days. When I saw that, I knew why I had not been appointed. He came back and said, “That’s all, Brown.” I saluted him again, but not quite as smartly, and went out.
I got on the train and started back to my town, 120 miles (190 kilometers) away, with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. And every click of the wheels on the rails seemed to say, “You are a failure.” When I got to my tent, I was so bitter that I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, “How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?” I was as bitter as gall.
And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, “I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.” The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness and my bitterness. While kneeling there I heard a song being sung in an adjoining tent. A number of Mormon boys met regularly every Tuesday night. I usually met with them. We would sit on the floor and have Mutual. As I was kneeling there, praying for forgiveness, I heard their singing:
But if, by a still, small voice he calls
To paths that I do not know,
I’ll answer, dear Lord, with my hand in thine:
I’ll go where you want me to go.
To be honest, my mission has been extremely difficult for various reasons that I never expected, and I think that's true with each of our lives, as well. But I know He is the Gardner. I know that as we go where He wants us to go, we will be who He wants us to be. And it will be so much father than we ever could have gone and so much better than we could have been on our own. 

1 Nephi 11:17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

Love you all, 
Sister Abram ❤️

(I grabbed the wrong tag this day and didn't realize it till that night. Oops!) 
Sent from my heart


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