Saturday, September 29, 2012

Composted Souls

I need to empty the kitchen composter, but it's on my mind to get the second post up on the subject of the natural man.

Composting is a process for getting carbon-based stuff of all kinds to rapidly break down into a substance that can be easily worked into soil. The process invites a literal hot-bed of micro-organisms into the compost bin and thence into the soil once applied. As a result, the rich nutrition which is inherent in the carbon-based stuff is made available in the composted product and is used to boost soil for better plant growth. Plant growth from compost supported soil is vigorous and more fruitful than it might have been.

Back in the late 80s and into the 90s, I remember books and sermons and seminars about being "healed" emotionally. The line of thinking was that trauma in youth or some other point in life damaged the emotions and created an obstacle for folks in over-coming sin. The "spirit" walk that produced the fruit of righteousness was in want of an emotional state that supported it, thus gaining a "healed" state was part of the path into God. God, of course, brought the healing, yet such healing was a prerequisite to successful spirit life. Perhaps...I am not discounting the idea. I was certainly one who thought I needed healing of this kind.

I am thinking though, that the semantics of such logic sets up its own obstacles. The believer so instructed has a ready explanation and often justification for selfish behavior.  "Man, I've done it again. When will I get over the root of this problem? When will I be able to truly serve God? Better see my pastor--spiritual mentor--Christian therapist soon before I fall again."

For most, I think it better to understand what God has clearly established in the Bible is enough. The old man is waste material. It does contain some vitality or dynamism, if you will. However the value of that is simply like the value of the stem of a tomato or a gladiola or ... etc. The stem is needed for a while, but once the intent of the plant is fulfilled--the tomato is in the salad, yes?-- the stem and leaves are in the trash can for the garbage it has become. Or, for the more disciplined individual with a little foresight, that waste material ends in the compost pile.


postmodern redneck said...

Seems like most of us go through life making lots of potential compost. Mistakes (or sins) may have some value, if we learn from them (not "redeeming value" but some value, at least. And that means "learning" as in one of the "laws" of a very old book titled "The Seven Laws of Teaching": "Learning has not taken place unless there is change in the life of the learner." All too often we go on repeating the same mistakes without learning--and therefore, with proper composting.

craigvick said...

I like using compost as a picture of the old man. I think we give this old man more credit (and power) than he deserves. The real me is not the old man, but new creation.

ded said...

postmodern redneck and craigvick,
thank you both for your insights.