I left the dassie trail and hiked past the succulent garden to the cycads. On the way, I passed a pond I'd never seen before. It had no inlet or outlet and was filled with leaves and algae. Once again, I stopped and sat down. It's a pity, I mused, that the pond is stagnant and neglected. As I was bemoaning the fate of the pond, the Lord spoke to me again.
"Can the pond clean itself?" He asked.
"No, but it's obvious that the gardener isn't doing it."
(I knew this discussion would somehow have a parallel to my life, so I immediately took the side of the pond - the same pond I was lamenting only seconds before - fickle human that I am.)
"And besides," I continued, "it's not the pond's fault that it has no inlet or outlet, or that autumn leaves fell into it, or that algae grew."
"Whose job is it to clean the pond?" continued the Lord.
"The gardener's. But he's not doing it, so someone else needs to step in."
"Well, if I had one of those pool cleaner thingies I would do it myself." I answered God like a petulant child. "And some rubber boots," I added, just to get the last word in.
"Even if the pond wanted to, could it clean itself? Can the pond work against the gardener?"
"No, and that's the part that's not fair. The only thing the pond can do is sit there and wait."
(silence). I began to doubt my words, my thoughts, my feeble arguments.
"Annie, you labour for so many things that you cannot control. You labour for approval and recognition. You labour to 'fix' your son. You labour for righteousness. You labour to resolve and restore what only I can fix. Cease! Learn to come to Me and rest while I do a work in you. Learn to wait as this pond is waiting. You do not know the gardener's plans for this pond any more than you know My plans for you. There are things you cannot see. But that doesn't mean I'm not working. I never neglect my children."