Unplowed Ground: Practical Plowing

So, how do we actually plow? How do we put our hands to the dirt and begin the work of turning up this soil?

The imagery is helpful until it falls apart—until our hearts are not fields and our lives are not the simple things of rock and thorn. Theory is only as helpful as the application that springs from it. Intentions are only as good as the action that they yield.

And our plowing will only be worth it if it positions us to encounter and recognize the Spirit of God.

For the next few weeks, I’ll offer you what I have to offer. I’ll tell you what has worked for me and those around me. I’ll invite you to try these practices that I have found helpful.

But before I do, I’ll remind you of this—

We are not plodding our way back to God.

We are not plowing up our fields to earn His favor.

We are not working so that He’ll find us fit for His rest.

We are simply positioning our hands and our hearts to encounter this Great Big God who offers us a place in His presence.

Often times, when I feel far from God, I imagine that I have to get all the way back to the last place I saw Him. If I’ve taken 10 steps or if I’ve taken 1000 steps since I last sensed His presence, then I imagine it will take 10 or 1000 steps to get back to where I’ve left Him.

But here is the most tender thing about the Lord:

Every single time I’ve turned around, I’ve found myself face-to-face with Him. Right there. He has taken the 10 or the 1000 steps right alongside me, never leaving simply because I failed to see Him. My failure to remember His presence didn’t make Him any less present. My lack of faith didn’t make Him any less faithful.

Yes, we pick up the plow. Yes, we tend our fields. Yes, we dig our hands down in the dirt.

But we do it all in the presence of the One who sends the rain, who brings the fruit, who knit us together once and holds us together still.

This is not an invitation to impress God with our faith; this is an invitation to find Him faithful, right here in the fields of our actual lives.

I’ll post the first practice that I’ve found helpful beginning next Thursday. I’m going to try to do an audio post about it (pray that I can figure out technology!)

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