Keith happened to say one evening, as he could barely taste the basil in the baked ziti, “What if this had been the first year you had tried to grow it?” Indeed, what if it had? I would probably never have tried again.
This led to a discussion about people. What about that friend you invited to church but who “had a prior commitment?” What about the neighbor you asked to study the Bible with you, but who was “just too busy right now?” How many times did you ask? How many times did you invite? How many times did you even mention the spiritual things in your life to see if they might spark an interest? Do you suppose that maybe those good folks were just having a bad year like my basil plants?
Sometimes I wonder if we don’t blurt these invitations out in nervousness or embarrassment, and then feel almost relieved when they are rejected. “Whew! Got that over with. Now I don’t have to worry about it any more.”
How long did it take for you? How many approaches did you fend off before you finally realized your need? How many times did you “kick against the pricks?” Aren’t you glad God didn’t give up on you? Aren’t you happy he realized that it might just be a bad year for good old Basil, and tried again?
Next year I will still plant Basil in my herb garden. As many abundant years as he has given me, I know that this one was just an anomaly. Don’t you think the people you know deserve the same consideration?
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering to you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, 2 Pet 3:9.