May posts #4
‘Prepare the ground.’
If you prepare the ground for an activity of a situation, you do something that will help it to happen. You make it easier for something to occur or be developed. #cambridgedictionary
Something can’t come out of nothing, it’s impossible. Whether it’s a new lawn you’re dreaming of or something exponentially more exciting, it won’t come about simply because we want it to. No, it takes preparation, time, often a bit of dismantling and a lot of bloody hard work.
What do I mean? Ok, metaphor time... bear with me.
I order to plant my lush new lawn I need to lay down seed. In order to lay down seed I have to prepare the ground. And preparing the ground requires a shovel, hard work and the best part of a week.
I can’t skip from wanting a lawn on Sunday to scattering the seed that night, it simply wouldn’t work. Without the proper preparation, the seed (which my idea depends on) would fail. Without preparation the seed, just like our dreams, would be wasted.
See, often our dreams ideas and hopes take not only a lot longer to come into being than we’d like, they also require approximately 1000% more hard graft and effort on out part than we imagine too. Often this part of the process is longer, harder, more painful and more involved than we’d like. Often a lot of work has to be done in our lives and hearts before they are ready for the seed of our dreams to even be planted, let alone grown into fruition.
To go back to my lawn, the three stages of preparation needed to get the ground ready for seeding were thus:
1. Dig up. Using your shovel, break up the ground, dig it over and enrich it so it’ll be a lovely nutritious home for your seed
2. Firm up. Once you’ve got the ground healthier, you gotta stamp on it to make it a firm foundation and even surface for your lawn... nobody wants a bumpy lawn!
3. Water. Adding water is the final stage in preparing the ground for your seed: now it has everything it needs to thrive.
And I think these apply to the process we go through too.
I order to prepare us for the hopes we have, in order to make our lives a place where those dreams can thrive... things have to be broken, enriched, strengthened and nurtured.
Think about that first stage - dig up. You’re using a shovel to break open the top layer of soil, unearth the ground beneath it and mix it all together. You’re quite literally turning the soil on its head, in order to make it fit for purpose. When we’re talking about the foundations of our hearts, often things have to be broken into or exposed in order to be fixed or healed. Think about it, how many times have you been set on exciting path... (think Uni, or a new job) you begin all hopeful and then the rubber hits the road... you thought you were capable but now, with deadlines and higher demands you’re forced to learn and change - in that process you discover hidden parts of yourself, go through pain and learn from it, and at the end of it all your a better, stronger person. Or motherhood... when sometimes, in order to be a good parent you have to sit in a dark room and break, sob and let it out...
Parts of the process are hard and painful. They are necessary for us to become the kind of person that can carry the reality of the hope we hold. We learn things, let go of things, find new ways of doing something, or are totally changed in the process of going from hope to reality. We get vulnerable.
Then, once we’ve been turned over and broken up and enriched, we need the foundations to be solidified. Ever had the worst year ever... and come out of the end of it with little idea of what you just went through but KNOWING that it was important... that you are stronger? 🙋🏽♀️ That’s cause you’ve just been dug up and then firmed up.
You gotta walk all over the freshly dug dirt to make it solid again for seed. Sow seed onto freshly dug ground and you’ve got a loose, uneven base for your lawn... higgledy piggledy in a not so great way... the kinda way that will result in a failed lawn.
The foundations have to be firmed up again. That’s the moment when after all you’ve gone through, you begin to feel like you can stand again. Like you can face things. Like you can rise.
Last in this preparation season is the watering. No seed yet, but we gotta water... why? Because after such a disruptive stage, it’s important to make sure that the ground has all it needs to be a successful home for the seed... nutrients is vital to the health and success of the seeds we plant.
So... our foundations now have all the nutrients they can get in order for our hope to flourish.
Preparation is the painful step of the process. It can be short or long. Whatever form it takes in you... hold onto the hope that lead you there. Preparation always leads somewhere, by definition. You can’t prepare for something if nothing is coming... luckily God always knows, and will lead us if we let him.