So there I was, standing in front of just about every kind of potting soil and potting mix known to man (or at least, every kind stocked by Wal-Mart). Apparently I looked a little confused and a lot like I was not the gardening type, because a very nice young man sporting a Wal-Mart name tag and navy shirt and tan pants came to me asking if I needed any help. I told him no, but then I made the comment, “There are just so many kinds of potting soil.” He then told me all about the difference between potting soil and potting mix. He asked me what I needed to plant. I told him a Gerber daisy. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I cannot keep plants alive to save my life, so it didn’t really matter what I planted it in it wouldn’t survive. I also didn’t tell him that this was really all for a sermon illustration.

Flash forward to the day before. It was 9:30 PM, so it was a good thing the garden department in Wal-Mart is open until ten. I bought a little orange Gerber daisy, and I toted it around Wal-Mart as I still needed Coffeemate, yogurt, and index cards. I love the life of being a pastor. You have an excuse to walk around Wal-Mart holding a flower and nobody even questions it. Looks at you funny, maybe, but no questions asked.

At dinner last night, it finally really hit me that I have no place to live this summer. I will be packing up all my stuff in less than two weeks, and I have no idea where I am going with it. I started to freak out. I called my mom because the dirt that I got was really too clumpy to use, so she told to go buy some potting soil.

All of these emotions about my up in the air summer plans flooded into me, and I ended up feeling quite uneasy, so I just laid on my dorm floor for a while. There would be a lot more despair and hopelessness in my life if I didn’t have the ability to laugh at how ridiculous it all is. I picked myself up and went to Wal-Mart for some potting soil.

Why potting soil? I am a preacher! But, seriously, I was preaching on forgiveness.

Now our bitterness and resentment is a lot like soil, resulting from brokenness and the weathering of situations that hurt us and cause us pain. It is not until we let go of our soil and get it all up to God that we grow. Not only grow, but God uses it for something beautiful.

I have dirt underneath my fingernails. I have to admit: I like it.


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