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  • Judi Rhyner

Stories from my Garden

Picking Green Beans can teach you a lot about PERSPECTIVE

I was harvesting green beans from my 30+ small bush bean plants. Things were going along very well. I was involved in my usual garden tap dance, getting into a comfortable seated position on my rolling garden cart so that I can "roll" along the long row of beans, and pluck each slender, emerald beauty as I go. This keeps me from having to stand and bend over each plant, saving my aching back.


About half way down the row I was harvesting, I stood up to stretch my legs. That's when I noticed them...perfectly ripe beans I'd missed on the back side of the plant in front of me. I hadn't seen them from my seated position on the cart.


"Oh shoot" I thought, and looked down the row I'd been working on. Although I had made a point of moving the leaves around, purposefully looking for all the crisp, tender, spears. I could see that I'd missed several ripe beans on the back sides of most of the plants I'd already passed.


"Huh" I thought and walked back to the beginning of the row and [grudgingly] bent over each plant and began picking the ones I'd missed. I chuckled "Best laid plans..." I thought.

As I moved along the row it occurred to me, I had to change my PERSPECTIVE to see the beans I'd missed. Even though it was easier to sit and roll along in my cart, I realized that by changing my PERSPECTIVE I would increase my harvest.


This past year, I've learned a lot about PERSPECTIVE. Even though it seems funny to compare my life to picking green beans, it makes sense. (although you may have to be a gardener to understand it) How I show up everyday in this world determines the results I receive. I can sit on my "cart" and roll along my life, seeing from the same old perspective I've always had. That's easier, for sure. Is it better, though? What if I want more? More happiness, more joy, more fulfillment. This life is a gift, just like the beautiful green beans that will provide nutrients and flavor to our meals. I don't want to live my life "asleep" to the fact that there is MORE. In the same way you need to stand up to see a different PERSPECTIVE, I've also learned that if we are AWAKE enough, and BRAVE enough, to see the dreams that God has placed in our mind and take ACTION, even in the smallest way, each day, that's how we will achieve more. In other words, if I see the beans and I'm too tired, busy, overwhelmed, or [fill in the blank with the today's 21st century stress factor], or too afraid to put myself out there, too afraid to be seen in this world, then I'll miss the opportunity. Fear has been a resounding theme in my discovery. Too afraid to fail, too afraid to look stupid...too afraid that I'm the only one. It's a decision to be seen and heard, and the PERSPECTIVE to see that we are all humans, we all have the same fears, but if we can move past them, in small ways, we'll achieve our dreams. We need to be the best we can be to live a bountiful life, to live life to the fullest. True, making changes in your life isn't as simple as picking green beans, but changing your PERSPECTIVE can be. It's as simple as standing up and taking a look around. Opening yourself up to new ideas and new opportunities. Choosing to be the best person today that I can possibly be, opens me up to all the possibilities that are truly right in front of me. Perhaps my back is a little sore from the work, but...I have SO MUCH MORE to show for it.
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