Sunday, February 21, 2010

Parable of the Soil

When I first moved to Sutera Biru 4, I had Siti, who loves gardening as my neighbor. From her, I caught the love and passion for gardening again. I started planting flowers way back when I in my early teens and in those days I planted flowers like chrysanthemum, dahlia and Japanese roses. In those days soil and fertilizer was free and in abundance. After all, I lived in a 5.5a of land surrounded by few chicken coops.

My passion for plants and gardening was reignited after almost 25years. With plants given by Siti to me, I started gardening again. Siti and I will sometimes garden together past midnight. We would buy soil, mixed the black with red (burnt) soil. Siti shared with me the secret to get "gemuk2" healthy plants - add little of fertilizer (at that point, I used processed tahi ayam from Japan) into the mixed soil. Not too much cos it will kill the plant but just a little to add the extra vitamin to the soil. The soil was then ready for be the home of plants. Every few weeks I have to dig the pots to loosen the soil and every few months I will change the soil of the plants to ensure my plants are growing well and healthy in good soil environment.

My favorite plant at that point was hydrangeas. I had as many as 10 pots of it in my garden. I still love hydrangeas ... Gardening was therapy to me at that season of life. I was so into gardening that I would visit almost every nursery in every city or town I travel to ...

However, maintaining and keeping the plants alive became a challenge when I started traveling outstation and staying away from my house for as long as 3 weeks sometimes.... especially in the hot dry season around CNY, many of my plants was baked,burned and sacrificed... :-( .. by the time I moved to Sutera Kuning, my garden and plants shrunk tremendously.

Reflections :
Jesus told the parable of the sower in Matt 13 where soil or the ground where the seed is scattered is the heart of man and the seed is the word of God.

In this reflection, allow me to use soil as the environment that we are living in. We like plants planted in the soil, we need good soil to grow strong and healthy. Our soil has to be properly "mixed" and must have sufficient minerals so that we, like the plants be "gemuk2" with green big leaves and beautiful lasting flowers. We need to add fertilizer in order to enhance the growth of our plants. Likewise in our lives, we need to be selective in the environment that we choose to live in -- we choose to make our home - what kind of neighborhood that we choose to live in? What is the environment we choose to work in? What type of people and friends that we choose to hang out with? What type of activities do we choose to fill our time?

The regular digging of the plants and change of the soil in the pot signifies that we regularly need to reflect and re-look at our lives, take stock of our lives on the regular basis to check - to ensure that we continually live in a healthy environment and have not allowed harmful and foreign elements to come into the environment we live in.

We have to make godly wise choices to the type of soil we choose to live in and the type of "fertilizers" that we want to add into our soil. I hope that we will not be like Lot in making our choices for surely the wickedness and sins of our environment will seep into our lives and eventually destroy us. Lot chose to live in the fringe of the sinful city of Sodom (Gen 13 : 10-13) and we can see how the norm culture of that city had influenced his values when he offered his virgin daughters when pressure of live comes in and the love of material things had gripped his wife that she could not let go of it when the way of escape came. She was turned into a pillar of salt.

Imagine how different will Lot and his family's life be if he were to choose to live away from Sodom ....... his family will not be destroyed ...... he will not hurt his daughter's feelings by betraying them ....

..... eeemmmm ..... lastly .... I do miss gardening ... I wonder if I will have set up a garden in the new tent that I will pitch soon .... and have the time to enjoy gardening ......

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