with silver bells and cockle shells and pretty maids all in a row.
I've been reading Little Men. I don't know how I missed reading this Louisa May Alcott gem, when I was younger. So, in the second chapter, it is Sunday and Prof. Bhaer (Jo marries Prof. Bhaer and turns Plumfield into a school for boys, in Little Women remember?) is telling the boys an allegory.
"Once upon a time, there was a great gardener who had the largest garden ever seen. He had many gardeners to help tend his garden, some did their duty and earned the rich wages he gave them; but others neglected their parts and let them run to waste, which displeased him very much. But, he was very patient, and for thousands and thousands of years he worked and waited for his great harvest..... One day, this great gardener gave a dozen or so of little plots to one of his servants and told him to do his best and see what he could raise. Now this servant was not rich, nor wise, nor very good, but he wanted to help because the gardener had been very kind to him in many ways. So he gladly took the little plots and fell to work. They were all sorts of shapes and sizes, and some had very good soil, some rather stony, and all of them needed much care for in the rich soil the weeds grew fast, and in the poor soil there were many stones."
The boys quickly discover Prof. Bhaer is the gardner and they are the plots. Thus begins a discussion about what "crops" each of them should sow, that they might get a good harvest from their efforts. The boys, being well education in spiritual "crops" begin to list: patience, perseverance, steadiness, good temper, wisdom, and generosity.
Galations 6:8 - [...] A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
Which got me thinking; am I tending my spiritual garden well? What crops should I be sowing?