On a recent hike, I came across this beautiful, dark, rich soil. It had been living underneath a fallen tree now removed from the path. Gosh, this stuff is amazing! I picked it up and let it fall through my hands. It was almost spongy to the touch. It smelled so glorious – clean, earthy, and full of life. This soil can support tons of different life. It is just waiting for a seed to take hold within its embrace.
In order for soil like this to be created, something (or many things) have to die. A tree had to fall. Leaves had to be released to the forest floor. Probably many other living things expired here. Out of death comes a rich bed for new life.
As this soil trickled through my fingers, I thought about relaxing into the natural cycles of life. There is a rhythm and we can trust it. I thought about how important it is to cultivate the gift of every circumstance. What first appears to be a tragedy might actually birth something new. I thought about how we need to rejoice when something grows again. Loss or death is not the final word, but we often allow it to be simply because we refuse to rejoice when a new and different life returns in place of death.
I want my life to be like this soil. I want my soul to be the place where life is embraced out of death. It reminded me of the Parable of the Sower from Mark’s gospel. This illustrative story Jesus tells is really about the power of the soil. Soil that is packed hard can’t receive a seed. Soil that is shallow can’t support a seed. Soil that is cluttered can’t make room for a seed. But, soil like I discovered embraces a seed, holds it close like a mother’s womb, and offers the seed a chance to grow into the next iteration of itself. Yes, I want my life to be like this soil.
Coming across this rich earth redirected my attention. I often spend energy on searching for just the right seed instead of growing the right soil. Holy Spirit, grow the right soil in my life. I trust you to bring the right seed. I just want to be faithful in cultivating the right soil.