Winter is just around the corner, and winter always reminds me of my dear aunt Alma who lived into her nineties. My family and I would usually visit her on any trip to my hometown. In late winter when we visited, what do you think would be a major topic of conversation with a lady who lived by herself on a small farm in Southern Indiana?
It wasn’t about what she did 30 years ago, or what she was unable to do today, or people she had known who had recently died. No, most of the conversation revolved about the seed catalog. She couldn’t wait to start planting seeds. We talked about the kinds of flower seeds she would buy and plant.
Then we got serious about the best kinds of tomatoes. She made the statement on one February visit the previous year she used tomato plants and that the plants didn’t yield the quality of tomato that the ones she had grown from seed had. So this year she was growing her own tomatoes—from seed!
As I left, I couldn’t help but think that one of the reasons she was still active and vibrant was her overall attitude about life. She didn’t dwell on the past and its good times and bad. She didn’t dwell on her aches and pains, but on seed and the beautiful flowers they would produce and the fruits and vegetables that would be abundant the following summer.
What about us? Do we generally carry with us an overall cheery disposition, always looking with optimism to the future? Paul said, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Philippians 4:1). We never read of Jesus’ complaining that there were too many people in the audience, or that the crowds He preached to were too noisy, or that He could not take another day on the road without some rest. He always seemed to be pressing on to a new town, a new audience, and a new challenge.
There is something to be said about visualizing the tomorrows, and pondering the beauty of what those days can bring. Maybe we all need a little more of the seed catalog philosophy of life.