Gardening

As I reflect on the challenges we face as Christians and as Americans, I realize in order to set the direction of my family toward life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (as presented in the Declaration of Independence … we homesteaders love declarations of independence), I must lead my family in God’s command to love. Not a sweet, sappy, Hallmark movie love. Not the temporal, sinful, lust-filled love prevalent in the secular culture.

I’m talking about a love that glorifies God, a love that carries into eternity. I’m talking about an impossible love that can only be made possible by a loving God who loved so much He gave His only begotten Son. It is a love for God, for one another, for our neighbor and even for our enemies.

The greatest command is to love God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength—with literally every cell of your being. It is the most noble effort and the most humanly unattainable goal.

What does this have to do with homesteading? Please allow me to share a few thoughts.

Did you know that everything about us (heart, mind, soul, strength) operates at the cellular level from the beginning of life to the end as God has created us? When you have a crisis event in your life, a “trauma point,” it affects your heart, mind, soul and strength at a cellular level. When you experience a heartbreak, your cells are traumatized, affecting the entirety of your health, again your heart, mind, soul and strength.

When you get injured the same thing happens. The injury that affects you physically also affects your heart, mind, soul and strength. In a fallen and broken world, our whole being is constantly under attack.

Typically, there are specific manmade helps that address these issues. Suffer a traumatic injury? Go to the ER and receive medical care. Suffer a traumatic emotional event, go to a therapist or a counselor. And while both are helpful, we typically don’t address the trauma at the cellular level, where everything is linked.

Do you know of anyone who is constantly going from one counselor to the next, never quite getting better? They are not just struggling emotionally, they are suffering in their heart, mind, soul, and strength.

Have you suffered an injury or disease? While we treat the injury or disease symptomatically, the cellular damage remains in the heart, mind, soul, and strength.

We live and love in the midst of an overwhelming saturation of manmade inputs. Healing at the cellular level through a visceral connection with God’s creation is rare in our modern world. Everything is linked, but we do little to engage and heal holistically.

Loving God with all my heart, mind, soul and strength is an effort to commit every part of my being to His glory. Sadly, we have so many modern comforts, we never quite connect. When we lost our visceral relationship with creation, we lost the deep and abiding connection with the Creator.

We are born through a beautiful, miraculous and natural event that has become medicalized, sterilized and sanitized. We then live lives eating fake, addictive food that is created in laboratories and boardrooms. It compromises our health, so we medicate. We cut and remove manmade inputs to treat symptoms.

People are left blind by the pool of Bethesda, never quite able to touch the healing, perpetually sick and sad. Then we die and are placed in a steel box, never allowing us to return to dust, becoming nutrient-dense soil for future generations.

Did that last sentence creep you out? So often I hear people arrogantly proclaim: “You have put God in a box!” No. That’s not the problem. We have put ourselves in a box from the cradle to the grave, separated from the glory of God and His creation.

Surrendering to the Lordship of Christ is more than just surrendering to a moral code. It is more than surrendering our sin nature to the redemptive nature of a loving and merciful God. It is a surrendering of our heart, mind, soul and strength—all of it down to every cell and fiber of our being.

That’s why I homestead. I want to touch the ground. I want to marvel at the beauty of life and creation as God has intended. When a momma pig births a piglet, she doesn’t need a sterile space, a birthing coach or a lactation specialist. My garden doesn’t need a life coach shouting positive affirmations. I simply need to stay out of the way and marvel at the Gospel proclaimed in the beauty of creation, a humble homesteader worshiping his creator.

To God be the glory!