Jerry and I stroll in a garden, and I say, “This place smells like old dirt.”
He says, “Isn’t all dirt old?”
That lawyer gene in him really gets me sometimes.
Yes, all dirt is old, but some of it smells old. My backyard doesn’t have that scent, because after twenty years of my infrequent attempts to amend the Georgia clay back there, it’s still leaning toward hard red. On the other hand, my grandfather’s well-tilled yard became soft and black with decades of amendments plus a few coal chips, which fell from winter buckets headed to stoves inside.
To get old dirt takes work.
Spiritually speaking, we’re all aiming for old dirt—where love can spread, roots may go deep, and God’s word may establish itself. In Jesus’ parable about the soils, he said, “ But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop” (Luke 8:15).
If we faithfully try to amend the soil of our souls through prayer, Bible study, and other spiritual disciplines, we trust for a harvest, and as others encounter us, we pray they, too, might just catch a whiff of old dirt.