I’m surely not the only person to be making use of enforced time at home to catch up on work in the garden. There are some things that I put off for as long as possible, and digging out the composters is one such task. But when I simply cannot squeeze in any more grass cuttings, then I can avoid it no longer.
But as I dig out the well-rotted vegetation, I discover some ‘foreign bodies’ lurking there; things that I should never have allowed to get into the compost because they will never rot down – at least not within my lifetime. How did that Mars Bar wrapper end up there? But worst of all are the small blue labels from bananas; the skin degrades easily, but the label never does! I really should know better; I need to be more careful about what I allow in amongst the nutrient-rich compost.
Which seems rather like a metaphor.
There are things in my life and in my character that truly don’t belong there. They are simply incompatible…
With the person that I am in Jesus;
With the person that I am becoming under the Spirit’s shaping;
And with the person that I am being prepared to be for the day to come.
They may seem little things, hidden things – like the slivers of plastic amongst the good soil – but they don’t fit. I can try to ignore them, turn a blind eye to them or excuse them, but Jesus is insistent; they should not be there, and I need to let him dig them out. The process can take time and effort – like digging out my composters – but the result is worth it: the soil of my life becomes more pleasing to my Father, and more fruitful for my Master.
I sometimes sing “Purify my heart”. It’s rather easier to sing that to embrace. Becoming more Christlike requires my full engagement; it’s not a spectator sport.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
Ps 139: 23-24
This is a good time to go digging in the garden.
And a vital time to allow the Spirit to go digging in our lives.