Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time in the dirt. And it’s been really good for me. I’m discovering many deep truths of discipleship while digging away at the earth.
Truth #1. Discipleship is not for the impatient.
We recently attempted to seed a section of our backyard with grass. In our impatience, we neglected to thoroughly root out all of the existing weeds that were thriving in this section of long-neglected soil.
Those who would prefer to take shortcuts are mistaken. There are no shortcuts with regard to the redemptive work of the Gospel in people’s lives. It requires hard work; tilling at the soil of their soul to prepare it for the seeds of life.
I will not spend time arguing the case for or against “low-cost” methods of tract-peddling or street-preaching. Some have come to know the Lord this way, but I believe the track record for those methods compared to life-on-life discipleship can speak for itself.
And this is my point. Casting seed onto hard soil from a distance may result in blades of grass, but most of the seed will be burned away by the sun. In order for the seed to take root, it must be planted into fertile soil. You’re gonna get dirty.
Truth #2. Not all weeds are weeds. But most are.
Allow me first clarify that I’m not a gardener. At best, I’m a “weeder”. That’s someone who knows nothing about gardening, flowers or plants; someone whose knowledge is capped at knowing what grass looks like and thus is capable of removing everything else.
Now, from what I’m told, a “weed” is technically anything that is out of place or has not been intentionally planted. So if I were to grab a bunch of dandelion seeds and carefully place them in my garden, they could be classified as non-weeds.
The “non-weed” is dangerous though, because though it may be planted intentionally, it has the potential for growing wildly out of hand. I compare this to wine or craft beer, two things that are very good and beautiful on their own. But if planted into one’s life frivolously and without intentionality, these have devastating potential. Like a weed amongst grass, it can quickly overtake the area and squelch any good growth.
Your backyard is ideally composed of healthy, growing grass. Similarly, the body of Christ is composed of holy, surrendered people. We must be tenacious about removing the weeds from our lives, so the soil of our lives may produce bountiful and beautiful blades of grass.
Part 1 of a multi-part series called “Gleaning from the soil” about pulling spiritual lessons on discipleship from the menial task of weeding a yard.