A thought by Maria Goff (2017-03-07) from her book, Love Lives Here: Finding What You Need in a World Telling You What You Want (Kindle Location 2011). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)
We don’t have gardens much anymore. But I remember working out when I was a boy in both of my grandfather’s gardens. Those are good memories. Our lives are like gardens and so are the people around us.
Maria says, “Preparing soil that someone can grow in is hard work, but it’s not all the work. Preparing your own soil is where the most important tilling is done.”
She goes on, “I love the look, the smell, and everything about freshly tilled dirt. I would rather have a garden of only good clean dirt than one filled with overgrown, unwanted, or unhealthy plants. Turning over the soil helps me get to what I want, but it’s not enough. When farmers only cultivate the top couple feet and a half over and over again, what forms is a rock-hard layer of dirt called a ‘plow pan.’ It’s the dirt that doesn’t get touched. It looks like dirt and from the top, the field looks well tended to, but a couple feet down from the surface it becomes as hard as concrete. What happens in huge Midwest fields will happen in our lives too if we only til what’s on the surface. Our roots won’t go deep and we’ll stop growing if we let a plow pan develop.
“To get through this hard layer, every once in a while a tractor drags huge teeth through the field called a chisel plow. It has two purposes. First, to get deep and second, to break up the soil that has become hard. We can’t break up the hard stuff if we won’t go deep, and we can’t go deep without getting out the chisel plow every now and again. If you’ve just been tiling the top couple feet in your life, find a deeper plow.”
She then says, “It wasn’t until I had the responsibility of raising kids that I paid much attention to the soil they were planted in and the need to prune, toss, and let things go. I wasn’t concerned about the effects of what was getting stuck in the dark corners of my life. If it wasn’t bothering anyone else, I’d let it be. When the responsibility of raising human beings became my life’s work, I started to care more than I ever thought was possible about the soil surrounding the kids. Unhealthy relationships, bad habits, and negative self-talk weren’t doing me any favors or helping the people around me. Having kids made digging up my own soil a priority. I realized I needed to get rid of some rocks of my own and dig a little deeper.”
That is what we all need to do in our lives, isn’t it?