Meditate | Turning Soil
Friday, January 25, 2013
New Church Perspective in Chelsea Rose Odhner, Mcolumn, gardening, soil, spiritual growth, spiritual life

Meditate is a monthly column in which insights gained from meditating on the Word are shared. We welcome your insights, too, in the form of comments, or better yet, your own article. Contact us if you'd like to write a submission for this column. -Editor

“The church is called the soil [in the Word] because it receives the seeds of faith, or in other words, the true concepts and good urges of faith” (Secrets of Heaven 1068).

“Give ear and hear my voice,
Listen and hear my speech.
Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow?
Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods?
When he has leveled its surface,
Does he not sow the black cummin
And scatter the cummin,
Plant the wheat in rows,
The barley in the appointed place,
And the spelt in its place?
For He instructs him in right judgment,
His God teaches him” (Isaiah 28:23-26).

I happened to read these two passages on the same morning. After reading from Secrets of Heaven, I opened the Word randomly to Isaiah to these verses about soil. I find the image of my spirit as a garden comforting. It is easy to feel brought down by how persistent and ubiquitous my misguided thoughts and subsequent behaviors are. But by translating my spiritual experience to the language of gardens, it becomes nothing to bat an eye at. Of course I’ve got weeds. I just need to uproot them and turn the soil. By the same token, it would be a waste of time to spend the day doing nothing but soil maintenance, to dwell on the inevitable sprouting of more negative thoughts. The passage in Isaiah exhorts me to take the next step, to seek and welcome the true concepts now free to grow in the turned soil and take action on the good urges at their roots. It is by recognizing and surrendering false thinking that I can make space for loving thoughts to grow. It is at once a very simple process and yet, a very slow one. I pray for patience and to trust the process.  

Chelsea Rose Odhner

Chelsea appreciates the time for reflection writing this column makes her carve out. In addition to mothering her three young children, she is an assistant editor for New Church Connection and an editor and writer for New Church Perspective.

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