The Same Soil Produces Fruit as Well as Weeds
I have had the privilege to grow up on a farm. This has instilled in me a desire to grow flowers, berries, fruit - even on our small lot. I remember walking behind a 16 horsepower rotor-tiller, cutting down the weeds and softening the rich soil. When we bought the raspberry farm, raspberries had grown on the same land for forty years. And during the ten years on the farm my father was the “raspberry king” for two years. This meant he had the highest yield per acre in the Fraser Valley in those years. All the old raspberry bushes and manure was tilled into the soil each year. The soil improved every year. Also, the berries got bigger and tastier every year.
But, other types of plants seemed to become stronger each year as well - weeds. As the rich soft soil helped the berries to become bigger the weeds also grew taller. This kept me walking the long rows - about 200 of them on our 13 acres of raspberries - steering the strong rotor-tiller - helping the berries grow and killing the weeds. There is a parallel between the rich soil on our farm and our minds. We might wish that what fills our minds is nobody else’s business but our own. We may even think that what grows in the soil of our minds will only be wholeness thoughts – and when they are negative, they will only impact us. The story of Achan warns us otherwise. What he did in the secrecy of his mind, and under his tent, was everybody’s business (Joshua 7). Personal thoughts are never personal. What grows in the depth of my mind (the soil where values and attitudes develop) will always impact everyone I connect with. Why? What we do in the secret place (our soil, our mind) is the most accurate indicator of who we truly are. What fills our minds never stays in our minds. What fills our minds will spill over into attitudes, feelings, actions. This just happens.
Just as delicious raspberries and thorny weeds grew in the rich soil on our farm, so also wholesome thoughts and wicked ideas grow in the soil of our minds. Our minds are meant to nurture values - but we choose which values. In Psalm 1 we learn that we either conform to the counsel of the wicked, the sinners and the mockers or to the law of the LORD. We choose what grows in the soil of our minds.
Farming the best raspberries is very simple - a person just needs to do all he can to kill the weeds and feed and support the berries. Growing to become the healthiest believers is very simple - we just need to do all we can to kill the values of the wicked, the sinners, and listen to, delight in and meditate on the law of the LORD day and night. What we feed our minds is never just our own business - everyone will notice what grows in our minds - either weeds or healthy fruit.