Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Filling in the Spaces

Our mission is to grow as much high quality produce as we can—the more we grow the more folks are fed. To do that we try to make the most of the finite amount of bed space we have. Empty spaces result in less produce and less people being fed.  We’re not perfect in filling all the spaces all the time, but we do try.
            One of the ways we do that is by planting extra crops in empty spots within beds. Earlier this season we put squash plants in the otherwise empty ends of the tomato and pepper beds. We recently sowed mustard greens in several spots where kale or turnips didn’t fill their beds as completely as we expected. The extra food generated by those add ins doesn’t come right away, and its impact on our overall production is subtle, but it does come eventually and it does increase our overall fruitfulness. Plus it’s really cool to see those extra plants grow where nothing was.
            Galatians 6:8-10 tells us that the same dynamic can be present in our walk with Christ.  Verse 8 tells us “those who plant for the benefit of the Spirit will harvest … from the Spirit” (Contemporary English Bible). Verse 9 acknowledges that it will take some time for the resulting crops to come in, but promises that it will be worth the wait. 
            So how do we do that? By looking for otherwise empty, unproductive, spaces in our day-to-day lives and sowing seeds of Godliness there. Turn the radio off while you’re driving and pray or think about a scripture passage you recently read/heard.  As you do mindless chores, think about the good things that God has provided you and thank Him.  Ask God to get/keep you on track in your workday by praying every time you wash your hands.  Or, as Galatians 6:10 implies, look for simple acts of goodness to do in the midst of your day and do them.
Those little things are the spiritual equivalents of sowing in empty spaces in a garden bed.  They may not instantly or completely transform you, but they will in definitely increase your fruitfulness over time and you (and others) will enjoy the resulting growth.
One final note—this is not mere theory, it definitely works. I devoted my commuting time to prayer during Lent, and was so pleased by the resulting closeness to God that I’ve (mostly) kept that up since. And that is experience is not unique to me; check out the classic Christian book Practicing the Presence of God

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