Summer is the season in which you frequently hear the word “cultivate.” People have been tending to their gardens and farms to ensure that the land is ready to produce plants and crops that thrive. The aim is to produce beautiful, flowering plants and bountiful crops for harvest. Ask any gardener, or farmer, and they will tell you that cultivation of the ground is the first step in preparing for a successful growing season.
I know this firsthand, having been a helper to my husband who loves the thrill of cultivating his fields in preparation for the planting of his prized blue potato seed. Cultivating as a practice is really two things: removing the unwanted weeds and rocks from the garden and loosening the soil to optimize the retention and penetration of air, water, and nutrients. I have watched my husband plough the fields and have helped him, occasionally, to remove the weeds and rocks. This is tiresome and tedious work, but there is something extremely rewarding about it as well. The possibility of growth and new life is so exciting and cultivating the soil makes it easier for newly germinated seeds to sprout through the surface of the ground. A freshly ploughed plot is quite beautiful. It looks ready. It is clear. It is clean. The richness of its color looks promising. There is nothing to hinder the planting, so the process begins.
Having been involved in the farming process with my husband I have not been able to escape the obvious parallels between cultivating a beautiful garden and cultivating a beautiful life. Just like gardens and farming fields, our lives easily become overgrown with weeds. At times, hardship causes us to become hardened and our hearts may feel like stones. These are the seasons in our lives in which we cannot plant new seeds because it is cultivation time. We must remove the weeds and rocks that crowd our hearts if we are to properly prepare the heart to receive good seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and faithfulness so that they can grow and flourish. Cultivation precedes planting if seeds are to germinate, take root, and produce a beautiful life. Have you cultivated your heart to grow a beautiful life? If not, it is time to plough the ground of your heart. There is promise of beautiful things to come in a new growing season. Do not underestimate the power of the plough to prepare your heart for good things.