If there is one thing that I enjoy doing, it's playing in the dirt. If truth be told I actually work hard at it but gardening gives me such pleasure I look upon it as a source of relaxation rather than of labour. There's never a time when I put the hand shovel in the ground, however, that I don't muse on the difference between the soil in the province where I used to live and the soil in the place I now call home.
My Saskatchewan vegetable gardens were spectacular; a bit too much rain, however, would create fields of concrete-like sludge. (On one occasion the mud literally sucked the heel off one of my shoes.) On the other hand, you should have seen the crops that came off that land. The long-ago song about corn being "as high as an elephant's eye" probably wasn't an exaggeration. Here I run my fingers through the sandy earth and rejoice in the crops that grow here…after I water. And water. And water.
I've always taken dirt for granted but after a bit of on-line research I realized that our soil is far more important than I realized. Here are some of the things it contributes to our world: it supports the growth of food; it acts as a filter for air and water; it contains a wide variety of organisms (let me tell you about our slugs!); it supports our natural ecosystems and wildlife habitat and even affects global climate through gas exchange and storage. Our environment, our health and our economy all depend on dirt.
No matter where we are in our Christian journey, the condition of our heart-soil will determine our growth in the things of God.
"…May your roots go down deep into the soil of God's marvellous love…" Ephesians 3:17, TLB