Saturday November 01, 2014

Parable of the worms


We West Coast dwellers have had to eat a log of humble pie this winter. The weather’s been lousy, eliminating all climate-related bragging rights.

Today was an exception: brilliant sunshine, no wind and temperatures in the double digits Celsius (it sounds even nicer if you opt for the Fahrenheit scale). After lunch and tea with the neighbour I headed out to a flowerbed in need of spring cleaning. Several hours later I dumped buckets of weeds on the ‘yard waste’ pile, washed up and brewed yet another cup of tea. Later I stood at the living room window and surveyed my work. “Good job,” I told myself, “but don’t forget the lessons you learned.”

You see, as I pulled weeds and turned over the soil I rejoiced at the abundance of earth worms. These hidden benefactors silently work to aerate and fertilize the soil. To show my genuine appreciation, I carefully guarded them as I worked. Several obese cutworms and a wire worm didn’t receive the same treatment (I’ll refrain from telling you how they lost their lives). As I worked I mused. The more I thought about it, the more I realized a simple but profound parable involving those worms. While all three species lived in the soil, one contributed to the health of each plant but the presence of the others resulted in the destruction of what I was trying to cultivate. Just like my thoughts, I realized. Whether known to anyone else or not, the power of positive and godly thoughts builds me up, allowing God’s love to blossom. Conversely, constant reflection on things that nurture bitterness or anger withers the soul and eventually destroys the good things God planned for my life.

“Renew a right spirit within me,” wrote the Psalmist David. (Psalm 51)

I wonder if he was a gardener?



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