As it would happen, I had been doing some tilling of my own. Albeit, on a far smaller scale. Here's the "red devil" I used to till up the garden yesterday afternoon.
I'd like to be able to say that I showed her who's boss...you know...Mad Dog style...really tore her into the ground...
but, then, that might not be completely honest.
So anyway, Ryan and I had an interesting conversation on the way over to Missouri about why we till the ground. Having a degree in Agricultural Science, he talked about microbes and chemical processes...the importance of nitrogen, etc., etc. But the gist of it is that tilling breaks up and turns over the old "residue" (whatever's left of the old crops - stalks, leaves, etc) in order for it to be broken down into organic matter that will provide nutrient-rich soil for next year's crop. God's handiwork at it's best...the waste naturally turns into the food...pretty cool.
Fast forward to this afternoon. Things were just not going my way. I will spare you the details, but it was just one of those times when you feel like everything...seriously...e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. is not going according to plan (*Holla out to all my homies with Type-A tendencies...Here! Here! to To-Do lists, schedules, and plans!).
Put plainly, I was struggling to keep a good attitude. While driving home (after I had finally gotten all I needed from the grocery store..the 2nd time), I was at a juncture..."two roads diverged in a wood"-type stuff...
My thought process went about like this...
Ok, if I let [my frustration] go, it's going to ruin the rest of my day.
I really didn't want to lose the day to my frustration. By God's grace, I remembered the Bible study our small group did last spring - Lord, Change My Attitude (highly recommended!). In it, James MacDonald proposes replacing certain attitudes with others. Namely (and most applicable to me in this moment of acute emotional distress), replacing a complaining attitude with a thankful one.
Ok, I thought. How can I cultivate a thankful heart?
I began thinking of things I'm thankful for...especially related to the things that had "gone wrong" in my afternoon.
And then my spastic brain made a connection...in the farming world, cultivating is essentially tilling. That got me to thinking...what does tilling up our hearts look like??
From my time in the garden yesterday, I knew how vicious the red devil was in taking down old stumps and turning over the soil, making it ready for new growth. I imagined the part of my heart that is prone to complaining...to be easily frustrated...I imagined it being ripped out and violently buried in the soil...being broken down by God's Spirit...and prepared for new growth.
So, in the Spirit of ...
and most importantly, Christ Jesus
This Thanksgiving I am tilling up the soil of my heart and asking God to produce from it a harvest of gratitude.
Thank you, Lord, for saving my day and for saving me.