This week we continued our exploration into relationships and the organic nature of relationships, where everything belongs and works together harmoniously. This past Sunday we looked at the “compost” in our lives. The “compost” of our lives is most often viewed as waste, sin, negative experiences, bad, etc and as something to be rid of as soon as possible. However, if we follow the “organic farming” theme of last week’s musings, compost is a critical component of a healthy garden. One could even argue the best gardens are those which utilize compost to its fullest. I recently went to Full Belly Farm with my daughter’s class for a field trip. It is a 400 acre certified organic farm in the Capay Valley just an hour outside of Sacramento. They lovingly refer to their HUGE compost pile as “black gold.” They use it on every inch of their farm and consider it a prized commodity. Without it they would have mediocre crops, but with it they have a thriving farm producing almost every conceivable vegetable and fruit that can grow here in the Valley.
What is true for garden compost is also true for the compost of our lives. Anthony Demello writes, “Be grateful for your sins. They are carriers of grace.” Our sins (compost) are the carriers of grace- if only we view them that way. In Romans 5:20 we learn that where sin abounds, grace abounds more. It is as though our weakness, sin and shortcomings are what draws us to God and God to us. Imagine if we could look at our sins and shortcomings as precious “black gold” instead of as a whip that beats us into “correct” behavior, shame and guilt. What if, we could see our anger, lust, impatience, worry, addictive behaviors, etc. as a gateway to God rather than a barrier? That is not to say we should use grace as an excuse to continue in these behaviors (see Romans 6). But rather, what if God is inviting us to a place where we see and use our weakness/sin (our compost) to be a fertilizer, a gateway to a rich and fruitful spiritual life?
Admitting and owning the “compost” in our life is the first step to being able to use it. The Master Gardener is inviting us to take a new view of the “compost pile” in our lives. We can either continue to look at it as plain old “compost” and continue to experience guilt, shame and endless effort trying to clean it up. Or we can begin to see it as “black gold” and spend time with the Master learning to utilize it to produce fruit that is beyond our imagination.
Reflect this week:
“Black Gold” or plain old “compost”…what’s my choice?
By Babs May-Clark