If you have ever been to my house, or have seen pictures of certain areas of my yard, you will know that since 2007, I have worked extremely hard at managing water flow as well as trying to grow grass in areas that seem to not want to grow.
Last year, I came up with this brainstorm of an idea to lay some sod in the lower ditch that always stayed mushy during spring from the rain water and the elevation not being the best there. It sort of worked! I had to re-set a few pieces after a big storm, but it all grew in and looked really good.
That gave me a new idea for this year! Simple enough! Buy some bulk sod from a grower, and strategically build a better elevation in the upper ditch above the driveway. I had this all planned out before Katelyn announced to us that her desire was to get married in our yard (what a compliment to the "groundskeeper!") I figured I would buy a few pallets, roll out that beautiful lush sod, and voila...instant ditch fix, as well as some spot growth in the yard.
Simple task...right? Nothing to growing sod...agree? Just roll it out...and in a few weeks, your yard is the envy of the neighborhood. Expectations in check!
There are four illustrations that I would like to share with you as I watch my sod grow...
- No matter the origin of the sod, a transformation is necessary. This particular sod farm is only about 12 miles from my home. You would think that being so close that our soil would "welcome" this transplanted sod and cause it to take root right away. Clearly something must have been wrong. The sod farmer must have given me the sod from Baltimore or something, because this sod has patches of area that just are not taking root. That has to be the answer, because I know it is not something that I am doing wrong...or is it?
"12 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you mayprove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:1-2
You see...it has to be the sod! It can't be my soil! The sod needs to conform to it's new surroundings...right? WRONG again! The sod and the soil both have to sort of transform in order for the sod to take root. Neither can conform and be successful!
- No sooner did I get this project finished, and wham! Here came some torrential rains and wind and debris from up hill! Know what happens to freshly laid sod when it has not placed its roots in a solid foundation? You guessed it. It looked like a gigantic sushi roll of sod in my yard the next two to three days while I tried to recover what sod that I could. You see, I did not prepare for this type of destruction. I felt that the weight of the pieces of sod with a few waterings would suffice to keep it in place no matter how strong the storms would tether against it...
"17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen." 2 Peter 3:17-18
If we waiver from the solid foundation and do not set strong roots, or at least some "garden pins" to keep the sod from washing away, sojourning winds, rains, and those that seek to devour will destroy our beautiful landscape that we have been looking forward to.
- Water...water...water! When you are sick, you are told to drink lots and lots of water. Water does good for us all. It cleanses our bodies. It nourishes our lives. It provides sustenance in order to live. Same thing with sod. It needs plenty of water. I thought for sure that the morning dew would be sufficient to keep the new sod moist enough to nourish it until the evening time when I could have Abigail water, or water it myself. I have been watering tonight for well over an hour in an attempt to bring some of the yellowing areas back to life. Yes, I know that it is supposed to rain tomorrow. But, I do not want to take chances! Water is meaningful in our lives. Is it meaningful spiritually as well? There is no doubt that we can all find some water in our lives...but what about that spiritual living water? Are we just barely sprinkling some on like a dew, or....
"13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14
- Direct heat causes destruction! The temperature has not really been all that warm. Maybe it was in the high 80s today. But, as one of the places that I have not been able to grow grass has sod laying on it, the catalyst of heat from the bricks from our house just seems to magnify the intensity. As I walk around watering this area, I can't help but notice the gorgeous dark green streaks in this decaying line of sod that is right up next to the house. The streaks come from shadows. They are shadows of the evening sun hiding behind three healthy Arborvitae - emerald greens - that I planted up next to the house exactly for the purpose of shading that side of the house in the evening sun. Pretty interesting to watch how the effects of heat and the calm of the shade differ so much. Kind of makes you realize how comforting and protecting that the hand of God really is!
"10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ." 1 Cor 10:1-4
Just as God provided safety, protection from the heat, and guidance in the clouds for the Israelites, He also provides that same protection for us in salvation! The plan of salvation is based upon being baptized into the blood of Christ - the rock as Paul says - and being shielded from the fiery heat of hell by Christ's own shadow as He hung on the cross for our iniquities. I find peace in knowing that the heat will not consume me, if I remain faithful to God throughout my walk on this earth with Christ right there with me!
You may be laughing hysterically right about now from my illustrations of being a failed "sod farmer" in my own fields, but if you followed along closely, you will see that it's not just sod that I am watching grow. It is you. It is me. It is each individual that we come into contact with every single day.
God has provided a way for our lives to grow, nourish, and yield fruitful harvests. He gave His only begotten Son to die on the cross for my sins...and yours! Do you get it? It's seems kind of silly to compare our lives to something as "minute" as growing sod...but personally knowing the sod farmer that grew my sod to the point of harvest - it means a whole lot more to him. It means his livelihood while on this earth. He did an awesome job of cultivating my sod - sort of like God made each of us perfect in nature at birth, yet, when it left his sod farm and became mine...the rest was up to me.
You cannot depend on someone else for your salvation, just as alternatively, you cannot allow someone else to deny salvation for you personally. Salvation IS a personal issue. No one can answer for you, and no one can stop you from obeying the Gospel...if that is truly what you desire.
After all, God is watching the sod grow all day long, every single day. Us "part-time" sod farmers only get to watch for a little while.