Cumberland Times-News

May 29, 2008

Ready soil of heart to hear word of God

David Sandvick, Columnist

I was working in my garden the other day. Well, it's not really a garden as much as a patch. Actually, patch may be stretching it a bit also. Perhaps bed is the most accurate rendering. A twin size bed to be exact.

This year I decided to go with a raised bed and condition the soil with peat moss. Lots of peat moss. So much, in fact, that it buried the soil by a full eight inches. Once I realized my mistake of too much peat and not enough dirt, I planted anyway.

I broke one of my mom's life rules, "If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right." But, it was just a couple hills of cucumber seeds. When I watered, I realized that this was never going to work. The water was rolling off those little mounds as if I'd polished them with turtle wax.

Yes, that was my first mistake of the gardening season. My second, and slightly bigger mistake, was telling my buddy about it. "You can't grow a garden in just peat! You did fix it didn't you?" He asked as he laughed out loud.

I thought about the Bible parable of the farmer and the seed. The only seed that really grows to produce was that in the good soil. In his example, Jesus says the soil is a person's heart and the seed is the word of God.

He is explaining how God's word can have such a positive impact on someone whose heart is prepared to receive it. Many good churches are sowing the seed of God's word each week. Ready the soil of your heart to hear what God has to say.

As for my garden, a couple of days later, I picked out the cucumber seeds, added more soil, and turned over the planting bed again. In about 10 minutes I was finished. I hate it when he's right so I guess I'll be hoping my garden fails just to prove him wrong. That'll show him.

David Sandvick is the pastor of First English Baptist Church in Frostburg.