All are from the dust, and to dust all return. ESV Ecclesiastes 3:20
I’m not great at gardening or any kind of landscaping for that matter. However, something I read many years ago (I think it was in The Rest of God by Mark Buchanan), makes me enjoy attempting a garden. Today marked our yearly garden/flower day with a family trip to Lochless Farms (a great little place that only the locals seem to know about. The lady that runs it is incredibly helpful, the prices are great, and plants are strewn all over her property–in greenhouses, on tables, under shade sails, etc. It’s a fabulous little messy place….but I digress). We bought three flats of flowers to decorate the porch and deck and one flat of cucumbers, squash, honeydew melons and watermelons (as an aside, I’ve never been able to grow watermelons bigger than a golf ball, but maybe this will be my year).
Upon returning, I began to dig in the compost pile for some rich dirt. I worked with my girls to dig our fingers into the soil to make little holes, then gently tuck each plant into that hole, pack it down and move on to the next one. While fun, the exercise presented me with a spiritual truth. Digging in the soil, I was reminded I am nothing more than the dirt in which I dug. No matter how attached I may be to my life, I really am nothing more than dust.
As depressing as this may be, I am not only dust. I am dust that has the breath of God. Because Christ died for me, my soul has been redeemed, and I am His child…a child that inhabits a body of dirt. This keeps me grounded–literally. I am from the ground, and to the ground my body will return. Like the flowers that will die at the end of the summer (or by the end of the week since I will probably forget to water them), my body will decay. The only eternal part of me is my soul, and being reminded of this daily is a part of spiritual formation. Take a moment this week to work your fingers into the soil. One day, you will compose that soil. Think on that and make the most of today.