Last week when I was walking to town during my "cracker dog" moment (see January 9th's post) I noticed an area that is undergoing construction. Or rather, it is the side of the road that is housing the construction equipment for the construction work being done across the street. This equipment parking area is all torn up with deep ruts in the ground and bushes and small trees toppled over. Where the equipment hasn't torn up the area, the weeds and neglect of care have the other areas overgrown and looking quite desolate.
If I hadn't known what was there before, I would've thought that the equipment people were just parking in an abandoned lot.
Thing is, this was once a small, beautiful and beautifully maintained garden in memory of a prominent garden club member. By the looks of the neglect, it seems as if I may be the only one who has remembered it and her.
Now there may be plans to which I am not privy of revitalizing the garden once the construction across the street is complete. I certainly hope so.
And I couldn't help but remember the story of Englishman Roger Bannister the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. Never had it been done before. The closest was Gunder Hagg from Sweden who, in 1945 ran a mile in 4:01.4. Yet, on May 6, 1954 Mr. Bannister ran it in 3:59.4. I sure that he was elated as were all the running fans. And he probably thought that it might be some time, like the nine years it took him, before someone would break his record.
Thing is, in less than a year Australian John Landy broke that record with a time of 3:58.0
Just goes to show you that our accomplishments and tributes don't stay around for very long.
The neglected garden and the breaking of sporting records are gentle reminders to me to not put my hopes, my dreams, my sense of self all into the basket of accomplishment. For if I do, someone else will push me out or dash my hopes and dreams. There will always be someone else who surpasses our accomplishments like setting a new record or there will always be something that is more pressing than maintaining a piece of unused land like building a new shopping site.
I need to think of myself more than what is achieved. I need to remember the words of Jesus; not to store up treasures on earth that can rust, but lay up treasures in Heaven.
What does that look like? For me it means working towards and contributing to a purpose greater than myself. To know that I have made a difference in the world but that I don't rest on my laurels of whatever contribution that might be. To not be overwhelmed, smitten or too confident in what "I've" produced, created or acquired. To realize all can be lost in an instant and it is the intangible things like relationships, character, and truth that withstand.
It is hard. We are society that takes great pleasure in celebrating, almost deifying those who are "accomplished" aka "successful". Certainly there is a time for recognition and celebration. I am all for the kudos and the reaping of the benefits from working hard. But that shouldn't be the raison d'etre. One hopes that one would be recognized for one's work but there are so many people working hard and never getting any type of recognition or thanks.
Even though the garden was a fitting tribute to our town gardener, it didn't take long before it was destroyed. At the time the memorial garden was commissioned it was big deal because she was pretty prominent in town helping to shape the gardens around public buildings. Yet it is not the garden that I focus on. I remember her because she was kind and helpful. When we had our first house and I wanted to venture into gardening, she recommended some books to us. We still have the books and I think of her fondly whenever I refer to them.
What about you? Can you think of accomplishments, either for yourself or others that have been surpassed? If it was your own, how does that make you feel? What kind of treasures are you storing? Earthly or heavenly?