The Onions Need Space

It made enough sense this spring. We bought one of those little trays that holds about 30 tiny onion plants. When we planted them in our garden we figured, Why not plant them all? It was more like planting a strip of grass than individual onion plants, but we figured it would work itself out. Survival of the fittest, maybe?

Meanwhile, in the garden next door…

Our neighbour had planted her onions about 2 feet apart! Granted, she had more garden space to work with, but her onions definitely had no lack of elbow space.

Now months later, while we’re pulling out our little ping-pong-ball onions, our neighbour’s figuring out what to with her softball-sized onions that could each feed a small village.

It seems spacing matters.

When I look at our over-populated garden boxes, I see my own life. My schedule. My commitments. I plant commitments and responsibilities fairly liberally, because everything seems so fun! I take on projects, design work, helping friends, playing sports. It’s easy to say “Yes” to things when they’re puny little plants in a tray.

But commitments grow. And the thing is, we each only have a garden box-sized portion of energy and time. After saying “Yes” to too many things, I often find that I can’t give enough energy to anything because I have too many demands that require time and attention.

Maybe there’s a better way.

Maybe spacing the plants would let them grew more fully. Maybe more commitments don’t make for any richer a garden than if you’d simply plant fewer things. While it’s tough to say “No” to things in the beginning, maybe you’re existing plants will thank you later on.

If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides…
– Peter the Apostle

Strength, energy to serve and to stuff, is a gift. But it’s not without limits. It’s important to focus our strength on the most important things and say “No” to the other stuff. I still haven’t really figured that out, but seeing my neighbour’s ginormous onions helps give me some motivation…

A saint is the person who can will the one thing.
– Soren Kierkegaard

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