Thursday, June 16, 2011

Parched ground

Parched ground that soaks up the rain and then produces an abundance of carrots and corn for its gardener gets God's "Well done!" But if it produces weeds and thistles, it's more likely to get cussed out. Fields like that are burned, not harvested.
(Hebrews 6:7-8)

Dry ground has many disadvantages - one of which is the extreme danger of fire.  For those following the news, the stories about how Arizona forests are being ravaged by wildfires has become a common theme for over a month now.  According to the reports, over 120 miles of state highways are closed due to smoke and ash.  People have endured the evacuation of their homes and continue to wait for the word that they can return.  The fires found a "fertile" ground for their destruction simply because of the lack of rain this year.  They were fueled by the dryness of the forest floor and the winds of the season.

The condition of the "ground" impacts us in varying degrees.  Our perspective and our purpose for that "ground" determines how we will treat that dry ground.  If you are a farmer, dry ground is non-productive. and therefore, it affects his ability to yield a crop.  If you are a builder, dry ground is actually an advantage because every "dry day" allows for uninterrupted building.  One relishes the "dryness", the other curses it.

Parched ground is dry - it is thirsty.  As a little girl, I loved going into the desert with my father.  We'd explore for hours and nothing pleased me more than to come to one of those areas where water had sat for a while on the dry desert floor before it was soaked in.  Those upturned pieces of dried earth, all cracked and ready to be lifted up were so intriguing to me.  I loved to turn them over to see if there was anything underneath.  Every once in a while, I'd be rewarded with a desert-dweller like a beetle, a small earthworm, etc.  Most of the time, there was nothing more than more "dryness" under the surface.

The surface reflected the reality of the barrenness underneath.  In fact, you might say, "What you see is what you get!"  The desert did little to cover-up the fact that there was a barrenness that was more than "surface-deep".  Don't you wish that the same could be said about us?  We are just the opposite - we attempt to "pretty-up" the surface so no one realizes the barrenness that lays just beneath the surface!  We hope that by presenting the "image" of "fertile ground" we will avoid the scrutiny of "inspecting eyes".

The truth is that we are known by what we produce.  If the soil of our hearts, minds, and spirits are nothing more than barren and dry places, we produce nothing.  The dryness leaves us at the mercies of the "elements" around us - fires can rage, storms can blow up a flurry of activity that leaves us in a mess. If the soil of our hearts, minds, and spirits is regularly watered and tended, the chances of it producing something of great value is far greater than that of untended "ground".