Gardening

A nation in turmoil. Division across the nation, evidenced in neighborhoods, families and churches. Oh my!

Recently, along with several dear friends, I visited an Amish family in Liberty, Kentucky. Our group was asking the young father, “Are you aware of?” questions, all regarding issues in our nation, issues outside of this little hamlet. Each time he cocked his head and looked at us as if we were from another planet.

Oh, how I envied my new friend, set apart from the rest of the world, living a simple life that many in our society would consider “third world”—no indoor plumbing or electricity and a wood stove for cooking food and heating the house. Simple.

My homestead is not quite there. But honestly, I wish it were. Understand, I say that as I type out this column on a fancy laptop. This homesteading movement is clouded with the idea of holding onto certain luxuries and comforts.

Give me the log cabin and the cozy fire in the woodstove on a winter day, absolutely! But do without instant access to nonsense from all over the planet through social media? No way! Give me the fresh milk and beautiful eggs for breakfast on a cool spring day, you bet! But waking at 4 a.m. to milk that smelly cow or muck the chicken coop on a hot, summer afternoon? No way!

And still, I envy my new Amish friend. It just seems Philippians 4:4-7 is more attainable to him and his family:

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (ESV).

Jesus challenges us: “‘Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?’” (Matthew 6:25 ESV).

“Is not life” can be better translated, “Is not the nourishment of the soul” more important? And yet, in our modern comforts, do we feel comforted? Is my soul nourished? With our modern technology, do we feel more at peace with one another? Likely not.

Let me encourage you to unplug. Take a day off from social media and news and nonsense. Go outside. Touch the ground. Humble yourself before God. Pray. Seek His face. Turn from wickedness in thought and deed.

And that ground you are touching, ask God to heal it. Cry out to God. Hunger for the nourishment of your soul, above the nourishment of your body. Desire His mercy and grace.

May the Lord bless and keep you. To God be the glory!

Denny Dillman is benevolence pastor at Southeast’s Blankenbaker Campus.