Here we are in the liturgical season of Lent, we are also in the Spring of the year. Things are starting to green up, all around us life is starting anew.
In Lent we are of course remembering the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf, contemplating the love God has for each of us. Some are denying themselves certain things, certain luxuries, in an effort to be in touch with the sacrificial theme of the season.
Even though Lent can pose a somber mood, it is also a time for us to prepare ourselves for a new life, new beginnings, and new opportunities. We are able to assess where we may not have been following Jesus too closely in our daily lives. We can take stock of all the times and places where our reflecting the image of who Christ calls us to be has fallen short. We can look at missed opportunities to love and give more of all we have in service to God. We can determine if our hearts and minds are as open to God in the many ways God might reveal God’s self to us.
Spring is the time when farmers and gardeners are preparing the ground to receive what will be planted. The soil has lain dormant all Winter, it’s compacted, it has some weeds sprouting, and it is in need of turning over and fertilizing. This will take some attention and some work.
Might it be the same in our own spiritual lives? There are times we have allowed ourselves to go dormant spiritually. We haven’t paid as much attention to this part of us. We can many times allow the cares of this world to become first and foremost in our minds. We see the day-to-day as being important and it garners our attention. The immediate is constantly begging for our attention and we readily give it. We get caught up in doing life, we are prone to giving our time, attention, and treasure to this temporal place. That can and does leave precious little time for us to engage with the concerns of our souls. Our soul oftentimes takes a backseat to all the other cares we concern ourselves with.
What would it look like to turn over the soil of our soul? Would we be more intentional in our conversations with God, in our prayer time? Would we say less, and listen more? Would we read and study our Bibles more, as a way of fertilizing the soul soil? Would we read the Bible with an eye toward the love, compassion, generosity, forgiveness, grace, and mercy we find in its stories? Not reading to see who we can exclude, but who we are called to include.
When we prepare our soul soil, we are ready for a new life to be planted in us. This new life will lead us to see the world and the people around us in a new and generous way. The world will look like the gift it is from God to us. A place filled with the opportunity to spread God’s love in every circumstance. The people around us will be seen as sisters and brothers, family to be cherished and supported. From our soul soil, the Spring would bring forth a righteousness born of love for God and neighbor.
The prophet Hosea in 10:12 says…
“Sow with a view to righteousness,
Reap in accordance with kindness;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord
Until He comes to rain righteousness on you.”
I’m praying during this Lenten season, that each of us works our soul soil to ready it for the seeds God wants to plant in us.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,