Well, New Year’s Eve and what do you do? Frankly, I was socialised out. Although delightful, I enjoy my own space as much as sharing it with others (I’m down the middle on Myers Briggs between I & E).
So, no rain and a much needed job beckoned down our allotment – the compost heap needed sorting before the next growing season. It’s a job I imagine most people put off as long as possible, but (freak that I am), I’ve secretly been waiting for a good time to get my hands on it.
However, what a gift, to aid my reflection on the passing and forthcoming years. My i-pod was on shuffle, working around Bob Dylan & Adele, providing a stimulating reflection on life, love, God and everything within their embrace.
There’s something wonderful about solitude as opposed to loneliness. I thank God for a wonderful wife, inspirational children and good friends, but this small space after so much engagement with others reminded me our my deepest need – to draw more from the wellspring, which is my relationship with Jesus. My 2012 needs to ensure these times are more frequent.
Sustainability was a clear theme. My compost heap is made using discarded pallets. The compost is other garden and vegetable ‘waste’. Chicken manure provides wonderful compost. Producing your own compost is, for me, almost as satisfying as growing your own vegetables (told you about the freakiness!).
There was a real thrill at being able to use an old rusty nail to keep two pieces of wood together. Genuine disappointment when one couldn't be resurrected. It’s all made using other peoples rubbish and produced by waste, but it keeps the soil fertile and provides the environment for growth. It’s the cycle of life and great to get your hands dirty, feel the muck in your hands and just realise it’s all about your own life in God as well as a few vegetables.
My morning reading from Colossians came back to the forefront of my mind, along with Charles Ringma’s comments: ‘Christ has shown us where true power lies. It lies in servant-hood, not in manipulation, or oppression.’
In contrast to our systems, Christ has paved a different way.
Reconciliation rather than enmity.
Justice rather than exploitation.
Peace rather than aggression.
Servant-hood rather than power.
Grace rather than legalism.
Community rather than individualism.
In living out such a vision, the powers of this age will be vanquished in the victory of Christ.’ (Charles Ringma, Resist the Powers with Jacques Ellul).