January 21. Tending my garden

“Actions are seeds of fate. Seeds grow into destiny.” (Harry S. Truman)

I am not a gardener. I tried my hand at it when I was a child, but I wasn’t very successful. Between outdoor allergies and a long list of other things I found more enjoyable, gardening just never caught on for me. I do, though, find gardening to be a powerful metaphor for many aspects of life. In today’s quote, Harry S. Truman tells me that my destiny is influenced by the seeds I plant with my actions today.

Things happen fast in life. Sometimes it seems that there are more things out of my control than within it. To be sure, I cannot control or influence the actions of others, or the events in the world that fall at my doorstep. And, I don’t think that is what Truman is talking about here.

Those actions I take today, the intentional decisions I make, set my life further on its course. My life can be a wandering path, guided by the ebbs and flows of circumstance. Or, it can be a cobblestone walk built with the rocks of my experiences, and laid out by my own personal intentions, goals and accountability.

It would be easy to look ahead and see a landscape that looks foreign, and scary. It would be easy for me to cry out “why?” But, in my most honest moments I need only look back at the decisions I have made that have helped me arrive at this point. Some of those decisions will have been right, some wrong, but all will have helped me to be where I am today.

Without intention and accountability in my life, my future lays before me as a haphazard combination of weeds, flowers and vegetables. By taking intentional steps and planting the right seeds with my actions today, I can grow the garden of my future to be what I want it to be. That doesn’t mean that weeds won’t sprout in the furrows of my well intentioned future. But, if I have tended the garden well, then the weeds can be easily found and dealt with.

Today this quote inspires me to be more conscious of the long term effects of the actions I take today. No action, no decision lies in isolation from the rest of my life. I need to remember always that things will happen outside of my control, and sometimes I will make bad choices, or take actions which do not seed my future as I would want it. It is then that I must make new choices to weed them out, and continue to create the future I want.

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