Buried or Planted?

Bury: to put in the ground and cover with earth

Plant: To put in the ground and cover, as seed for growth

God asked me on Sunday if I was buried or planted.  I know it was Him because I wasn’t thinking about getting buried or planted, either one.  Those are not two of my normal activities.  But when I felt the question, I knew that whatever I am, I act like I am buried – like I’ve been buried alive.  And then I realized how the two things are exactly the same – being buried and being planted, except for the intent behind them.  Did you read the definitions above?  In case you missed it, here you go again:

Bury: To put in the ground and cover with earth

Plant: To put in the ground and cover, as seed for growth

So, if I pretend I am a seed who does not know the intent of its gardener, then I have every right to flip out when the dirt begins to block out everything in the world that I know and understand in my life.  The weight of the earth on top of me is immobilizing; it’s dark; i’m lonely and scared.  It seems impossible to become anything under here.  And just when I think it can’t get any worse, someone comes along and dumps *#%& on top of me.  Now, in addition to everything else, it starts to stink.  And then they drown me, and all the filth from the you know what starts trickling down over me, mixed in with the dirt and now I’m wet, too.

Is anyone seeing what I’m getting at here?  Being planted would seem a whole lot like getting screwed.  (Theologically speaking.)  But being planted is also the only way for a seed to fulfill its purpose, and when that little green shoot first starts to peer out over the earth, I don’t imagine that sentient seed will be minding so much, although it might wonder if there were not an easier way to get here.  But there’s not. 

I think I act like God has buried me, when I’ve really been planted and now I am being nourished and tended to by a Gardener who says that I should be “confident of this very thing: that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it.” (Philipians 1:6)

And now for the lyrics to a song I wrote almost 8 years ago:

In Its Time

The whole world is barren.  Whenever will this end?

It’s been so long, I hardly know if anything can grow.

I’m so unbelieving, so foolish for grieving.

How many times have I seen death revive with one small breath?

And every beginning must start with an ending,

Just like the life You gave to me when You died, so willingly.

But right now it’s winter, and it’s still December.

And the sunless sky is dark and grey again.

The cold wind’s still blowing, and though it’s still snowing,

I know that Spring will come in its time.

Lord, help me remember, though it may seem bitter,

There’s always more than I can see underneath those lifeless trees.

And, so in my own heart, when I need a new start,

I know it brings a little pain, but soon enough, the soothing rain.

But right now it’s winter, and it’s still December.

And the sunless sky is dark and grey again.

The cold wind’s still blowing, and though it’s still snowing,

I know that Spring will come in its time.

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3 Comments

  1. chris said,

    April 26, 2008 at 7:15 pm

    i would suggest another difference between the two.

    One of them will bear fruit, and fulfill its purpose in Gods great plan.
    The other wont.

    I like your song, its a very good song.

  2. jody said,

    April 27, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    i really like this analogy!

  3. April said,

    May 13, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Hi! Jody directed me to this site. (She told me about your cabin. I’m the friend of hers who might want to rent it.) After reading around a bit, I’m glad you have internet access in the woods. Do you mind if I come with her on Friday?


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