Monday, November 24, 2008


Two teen girls live with us now. Fun and drama abound. They are a source of enjoyment and concern.
I watch their struggles. I see how the world has selfishly polluted their environment, spiritually, and physically...young growing things trying to be strong, pushing down to root in toxic soil. The very air and climate is unfriendly to healthy growth. It is a madness I cannot account for. Can anything good survive and bear fruit in these conditions?
Look at what we have done to the environment; to the point that much of what we eat is unsuitable to nourish us. The water and natural resources have been corrupted. To me this is analogous to what we have also done culturally and morally.
There is a parable about seeds being sown in various places, and the outcome of the seeds according to the quality of the earth. Of course, the earth in this parable represents the inner fecundity of our souls and not that of our environment. And the seed is knowledge, faith and strength. But what if we are the seeds and our culture and surroundings are the only earth to grow in? There is little doubt that we would perish in pollution.
Fortunately, unlike a plant, people can make decisions. We can choose to not drink the water provided and we can willfully heal the environment. When the local soil is unsuitable we can build boxes and fill it with the good stuff to plant in. A person can decide that certain philosophies, lifestyles, entertainment, etc. are toxic and destructive; choose another source of nourishment. We adapt and survive, one good decision at a time. We all know people who do remarkably well despite their disadvantaged situations…my father is one. He came from poverty and abuse and found better soil to plant himself in when he found the gospel. And the opposite is true too. Somebody can have all the advantages and choose to drink the poisoned water outside of the grow box. So, as the parable suggests, the inner soil is the soil that counts most.
We can’t afford to just accept what is being served by anyone who comes through the garden gate. We must question it, challenge it, inform ourselves and reason with the evidence; when we are told something is “OK” there is often massive proof to the contrary. No person, government, business or group really can be responsible for our nurturance- and most of the time would not care to be, negligent at gardening for our sakes…they have other interests. We need to become active participants in our own cultivation and growth by choosing better soil... and choosing a better Gardener, one who brings us clean and living water. This is how we can flourish and bloom wherever we are planted.