I had the opportunity to visit a friend and check out his family farm. It was a dynamic operation with a lot of detail and impressive greenhouses.
They are a local farm and have some great produce and plants. I was able to eat some of their fresh lettuce, kale, arugula, and carrots in a salad. It was delicious!
They also provide fun activities in the summer and fall for families. You can check out their work @ http://www.sicklerfarm.com
Although I was impressed with the size of their farm and the work they are doing, I was enthralled with the detail and knowledge they carry in regards to growing healthy vegetables and plants.
They are in the process of doing something to warm up the soil to help with vegetable growth in the winter.
One of the details they gave me about farming was focused on the value of the temperature of the soil. They said that in the greenhouse the air temperature is maintained and it helps with the growth, but in the winter the ground gets cold and it slows the growth process severely. So, they are working on a way to warm up the soil in order to grow the lettuce during the coldest times of the year.
I was impressed that they could do such a thing, but even more about the reasoning. They said, “Air temperature is important, but the temperature and strength of the roots is equally, if not more important. If the air temp is great, but roots are weak, then the plants won’t grow as quickly or at all.” Then, they shared, “Sometimes, we have to ‘rough them up’ a bit.”
What they meant by “roughing them up” was they had to brush their hands through the lettuce leaves or gently shake the tomato plants in order for them to get stronger. Without a little wind, they have no need to get stronger, so they needed some pressure to build up their strength.
All of this got me thinking about our faith journey.
We can step into a great church environment. We can hear wonderful worship and listen to great sermons, but if we aren’t doing anything to strengthen our roots, then the “air temperature” won’t matter.
We need to take proper steps to strengthen our roots. Sometimes, that will require us to step into tense situations and be pushed out of our comfort zone to become stronger in our faith.
I wonder if God is pushing us or shaking us a bit, but we resist or flee from the tension and our roots aren’t able to strengthen?
Our faith journey requires proper “air temperature” (i.e. teaching, church, community, prayer, etc.), but our “root strength and temperature” is just as important, if not more (i.e. our time in scripture, maturity in faith, serving, trusting, prayer, etc.).
May we step into the challenges with the perspective of roots being strengthened. May we see that we can’t depend on teaching alone, we need to grow through action and discipline. May our roots be strong as we face the trials of today.
Peace and blessings friends.