Friday, May 11, 2012

Soul - The Inner Garden

Traveling inside myself down a winding dirt road,

In the soil, that is my soul, a flower bed grows.

This is the beginning of a poem I wrote many years ago. I tend to picture my soul as a garden. Growing up on a farm, of sorts, and having farmers in my family, I have seen the work it takes to keep a garden beautiful and bearing. In some ways, both a physical garden and the inner garden of my soul need to be cared for in the same ways. Let me explain:  
  • Mulch. Mulch is applied as a covering to prevent excessive evaporation or erosion, enrich the soil, and inhibit weed growth. What am I covering my soul with? A focus on Jesus! By mulching my soul with Jesus I prevent excessive burnout and faith deterioration. It also helps me to repress some weed growth of the soul (temptations & sin).
  • Sunlight & Fertilizing. Healthy plants are more disease resistant. A person with a strong immune system can combat diseases as well. Thinking of sunlight to my soul reminds me that I need to take care of my body, exercise and eat well. It would be silly to think that the outside doesn't affect the inside. Also, I need to fertilize my garden soul with worship, encouragement, and peacefulness to keep it strong and healthy.
  • Pesticide. Pesticides are intended for preventing, destroying, repelling or mitigating any pest. Helping to prevent 'pests' or getting rid of them in my inner garden consists of confessing and repenting. Sins literally eat away at my soul so I have to be sure to be open and willing to keep changing.
  • Water. The best time to water a garden is during the morning. Just the same, when I'm spending lots of time with God in the mornings I am more refreshed. Reading my bible and praying are the perfect activities to give my soul more vibrancy.
  • Thin the garden. Thinning a garden provides more room for the surviving plants to mature into healthy, vigorous crops. In a similar way, I must go in and evaluate my schedule, activities, and plans to make sure I'm still on the path God wants me to be for my life and maybe 'thin' something out so that I can grow the way God desires.
Isaiah 58:11 "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail."

Ultimately, I truly value the gardening of my soul. I want to grow in taking care of it and also grow to have more patience and kindness towards myself as my soul blooms. I desire this and believe I can have a sense of anticipation for the fruit I will bear internally and with others as I take care of my inner garden. :)

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