Permaculture often times acts as a worldview. It is the view that if we would return to aiding the land in a more natural way of living, and let vegetation and soil interact the way they were meant to, we would have a surplus of nutritious food.
This confidence in permaculture comes from the fact that nature abhors vacuums. We are reminded of this every time we look at overgrown ditches or natural forests and jungles. When left to their own devices plants or sometimes weeds, take over empty spaces rapidly. Therefore, a proper permaculture farm or food forest uses every space possible for some tree, bush, shrub, grass, or vegetable. In the spaces left over, mulch of some sort, is layered on top, because ALL soil desires to be used or protected. If we are not choosing/controlling its usage, often weeds or various undesirables will claim ownership of that space.
In this instance, permaculture is very similar to our spiritual journey. Our hearts, minds, and lives need to be filled with goodness, and if there is a space in our lives, either mentally or physically that is not filled with that goodness, it will most likely be filled by something else, something we don’t want there.
The problem is we have no goodness in and of ourselves. Psalm 53:3 tells us, “…there is none who does good, no not one”. While this reminder of our fallen, selfish state can be discouraging, we can take courage in knowing that God has always had a better, more abundant design for our lives.
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” Philippians 2:13.
“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” 1 Corinthians 5:21
God has created us and He knows us better than we know ourselves. Although we were born into a sinful state and thrust into a great controversy between good and evil, (a topic I would love to discuss another time, but until then you can read a GREAT book about it), provisions have been made for us to reclaim the eternal life we were designed to live. God, through His Son, promises to work in us and to give us His mercy and righteousness on a daily basis.
The promises of God are vast and overwhelming. Sometimes they seem almost too good to be true, but nonetheless, they are promises from a very real and loving God. He wants to change our hearts, He wants to give us hope, He wants to give us purpose, and He wants to bless every part of our lives.
These feelings of peace and joy can sound wonderful, but I am the type of person who seeks very practical and tangible evidences for How God changes our hearts and minds. Within the realm of permaculture, I find that a space that was previously overlooked, can become a bountiful garden or food forest with some diligent effort. Then, as that space continues to be molded and used, the effort that is put into tending it becomes easier and even more productive. Likewise, our lives need to be filled with spiritual efforts. Spending time with God every morning, making time for exercise, eating quality foods, attending church, participating in volunteer activities, enhancing your education, attending Bible studies, building positive social relationships, and taking ample time to pray everyday, are some examples of how we can fill empty spaces in our lives with God’s goodness, and ultimately create a rich and abundant existence. We should seek spiritual food, like we seek physical fulfillment.
Have you ever heard the saying “idle hands are the devil’s workshop”? Turns out, it is quite true! When we have time that is not being used to benefit our minds, our bodies, our spiritual growth, or that of someone else, then the devil has a space to play. Often this comes in the form of trashy entertainment, mind-numbing drinks/foods/drugs, or negative thoughts and woes. If we fill our cup completely with the love and joy of Christ and His desire for our lives, there will be NO ROOM for the devil to sneak in and plant his weeds and stubborn roots of sadness, jealousy, anger, disdain, and selfishness. And while this might take some work at first, like a conscious effort to spend an hour reading your Bible every morning, and maybe avoiding the television and internet when boredom strikes and instead, going for a run, after some time, God will begin to plant His perfect garden and the fruits of His spirit, within your life.
Fill the spaces in your life with His goodness, and just like when nature is filled correctly and completely, you are sure to yield abundance and beauty.