As I have watered my pile of dirt, I have thought about this strange substance that serves as a womb to seeds. Am I really to believe that in this dark and warm matter lives the power to give life to lifeless looking things? To my eye, dirt looks so basic and simple. Still, I feel kind of dumb thinking about dirt this way because dirt is something that man cannot duplicate nor can he completely understand and explain. Of course, man has learned how to manipulate soil and in his hubris, he has often destroyed it. Yet, has any man discovered how to make dirt, out of nothing- ex nihilo- or make a man out of dirt?
But here I am in my flip flops, watering a divine creation and participating in a mystery, while wondering if God has not just invited me to spend time with him and Dellrose, and play in the dirt.
I ask myself if it requires more faith to garden or to participate in my own becoming. I confess that I don’t know. But gardening seems to be the perfect way to describe my 46 year old life. I wonder if that’s why Jesus talked so much about sowing and reaping, weeds and seeds.
It has been over a decade since I was forced to take a hard look at myself and what had been planted, what I had planted, what was growing, what was producing fruit and what I was watering. In looking, I discovered a person who spent little time weeding and watering love and truth because I was so busy curating my consumer lifestyle. As a result, I could not find a true-self full of peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness or self-control. Instead, I found a false-self full of likes, dislikes, opinions, commentary, habits and choices that stood in complete contradiction to Love and Truth.
It was here in my own self that I decided it was time to get busy weeding. Trust me there was a lot that had grown up, including ridiculous amounts of doctrine and theology, overgrown ideas and out of control wants. Cares of the world took up a lot but not as much as my ignorance, arrogance and self-righteousness. When I finally finished pulling out everything that was not right, good and true, there was nothing left standing. Everything was gone. Looking around, I discovered I was standing with bare feet on the soil of my own soul. And, if there was one thing that was abundantly clear, then it was that I was standing in dirt and starting over.
So, naked and undeniably ashamed, I made a commitment to work as hard as I could to become the person I was designed to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically and relationally. Honestly, I didn’t know exactly what to do or if I had the power to do it. Likewise, I didn’t expect results. I refused to do anything to get results (really because I was uncertain if I could even get results). Perhaps, deep down I knew I was desperate for more than results…I wanted to be the person I was designed to be and live the life I was designed to live. I wanted to do things because they were right, good and true.
But not knowing what to do next and looking at the obvious failure of my own way, I sat down in the dirt of my own soul to begin again.