Another Insight from Composting:
Beyond the Dramatic
Our most recent batch of compost is done “cooking” and is now “curing.” That is far less dramatic. Cooking involves shredding, turning, and heightened temperatures. During curing the compost sits undisturbed at ambient temperature while earthworms and a new set of microbes take over. Their actions are individually mundane, but they have powerful cumulative effects. They increase the relative amount of nitrogen in compost and give it greater disease suppressing qualities, significantly increasing its utility.
We see similar patterns in how many folks grow in Christ. The initial stages of their walk can involve dramatic upheavals from their previous lives. God allows/takes them through tough stuff in order to change their pre-salvation natures, much like shredding and heating change leaves, coffee grounds, and other materials into compost. See generally Hebrews 12:1-13, this, and this.
But then things calm down. Once we have been changed by those relatively few transformative events, we are expected to deal with many, more regularly occurring, challenges. Those come from actually living out scriptural principles in the details of our ordinary, day-to-day, lives. Those are things like responding gracefully to annoying circumstances, delivering God’s love in mundane circumstances, working diligently at the details of whatever vocation or particular projects He’s called us to, recognizing and overcoming various temptations. Regularly meeting those less dramatic, but far more frequent, challenges builds habits and deliver results that make us far more effective for Christ. Maybe that dynamic underlies what He was talking about when He noted that faithfulness in little things results in greater impact. See generally, Matthew 25:14-23.
That’s not to say that everyone’s growth in Christ follows that pattern or that we’ll never face further major and transformative events later in our Christian lives. But there seem to be enough parallels to what enough folks go through to make it worth considering.