Fertile topsoil

July 1, 2020 · Print This Article

Just over 4 years ago we moved into a brand new house. The garden is a little bigger than the normal size and the builders had laid turf so we had a nice lawn, but we wanted to create a more interesting garden bordered by some flower beds.

As part of the preparation, we needed many tonnes of top soil to give our trees, shrubs and plants a fertile growing environment. We had the soil delivered and the merchants left it in a big pile at the front of the house, much of which I had to shift round to the back with just a wheelbarrow. It took several days and my back and legs were sore at the end of it.

While I was working, I had time to think – is my garden like my mind? (Bear with me on this for a minute!). Do I spend more time making my garden a more fertile habitat in which to grow beautiful plants and flowers, than I spend helping my mind to become a productive environment? How fertile is my mind? We are bombarded with so much rubbish today in the media, that if we’re not careful, our minds can become like a wasteland. Fake news and harmful values can, like weeds, too easily take root and flourish. I reminded myself that my mind is a tool to be sharpened, not just a library to be filled.

But if we are passive in what we watch and read, it can become counterproductive. If we just accept ideas, values and beliefs without thinking about them, or questioning them, we can drift along with the tide of consensus like so many people do today.

Shifting tonnes of topsoil is hard physical work, but very satisfying. Thinking about what we let into our minds and how we sharpen them is hard mental work, but also very satisfying.

Around two thousand years ago, some people were challenged to reconsider what they believed and why.  A man called Jesus demanded that they questioned the way they thought and lived.

For example he turned upside down the accepted view of  success. He said instead of seeking power, position and status – to be important in the eyes of others – we should instead have the mind, heart and attitude of a servant.

He also asked his followers a question, “But you, who do you say I am?”1

Many alive in those days were confused about who Jesus was. Many alive today are also confused by who he is! Maybe it’s time to ask ourselves, have we simply accepted what other people say? Or are we prepared to do the mental digging to unearth the answer for ourselves? Are our minds a fertile topsoil where our ideas, values and beliefs are thoroughly sifted and evaluated? Are we confident we know the truth about why we are here and what life is all about?

When Jesus asks you today, “Who do you think I am?” what is your answer?

Keith Hartrick info@because.uk.com

1 The Bible – Mark 8.29
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