A Giant Pumpkin, Some Worms, and a Vision

‘So what are you going to do with the pumpkin Mr. Pearman’?

Over the summer months the school children and I had grown a giant pumpkin. Correction, the children and I had contributed to the growth of Oscar the giant pumpkin. Wheelbarrows of chicken manure, mulch, organic foliar feeds of seaweed, sunlight, water and Aroha (Maori for Love) had gone into the 56kg flat-bottomed giant.

How what do we do with it next. They don’t have much flavour, are a bit too big to place on the mantel shelf and are really not that comfortable to use as a seat.

‘I know’ I thought  ‘I will turn it into a sweet corn or maybe a tomato or perhaps a cabbage’. I’m not talking Cinderella here and a waving of a magic wand, I’m talking recycling.

In nature everything gets recycled, nothing is unused. What some think of as out-of-place or over the top it too can be transformed into something of incredible value.

So I took Oscar, sliced and diced him into hundreds of pieces, and then put him in the worm farm. Oscar is now being enjoyed by thousands of worms and they are churning through him changing him into beautiful compost from which I grow the beans, tomatoes, corn, lettuce and maybe another giant pumpkin. How is that for cannibalistic vegetable gardening.

And that is the way it is in nature.

It’s a cycle of creation and growth, then a breaking down and a deconstruction.

This is life also. For good mental health there must also be a deconstruction of what may have served us well in the past so something new can emerge. The thinking that got you here today … may not be the thinking that will get you where you need to go!

Here is an example.

The type of thinking that keeps a person trapped in an addiction needs to be deconstructed and reformed if they are going to break the chains of their own predicament. They will need to learn new ways of thinking about life, problems, themselves and others. All the self-help books, boundaries imposed by others, counselling etc will not work unless something deep within them is churned over, recycled and transformed.

Is it nice and pleasant? Is it all sweet and lovely like a walk in the park on a warm spring day?

No, its messy, smelly and absolutely repulsive at times. Jesus called it a narrow path, like the squeezing of your body between two large rocks on a stony pathway.

So why would anyone want to do this? I thought the Christian life, or any life at all, was meant to be a life of ‘abundant blessings’. That is what seems to be sold to us by the modern worshiptainment churches.

To push through those rocky paths, to tolerate and maybe even appreciate the stench of looking at your depths you need to have a compelling vision. Compelling as it draws you on, and compels you to keep going.

I look at all those thousands of worms, and other critters and see ‘fill your hand’ sized ripe red tomatoes. I take in the ‘ooh what’s that smell Mr. Pearman’ wafts of rotting pumpkin and dream wistfully of fresh strong basil. Then I think of all those children picking beans and tomatoes next summer. Then I think of those families in the school community who don’t have fresh vegetables on the table. I think of those mum’s and dad’s picking up a lettuce as they come to collect their children. I think of a poverty cycle perhaps being broken. So I look at worms and envision community change.

Perhaps if our vision is only locked into the smelly rotting mess in front of us, the problems and the pain, we may well be missing the vision of the future. Something beyond the here and now to what could take place if we allowed, even invited, something and someone to de-construct what we have made of our lives.

Do you have a compelling vision for yourself beyond the here and now?

Are you locked into the present?

Does someone else have a compelling vision for you?

Do you have a compelling vision for someone else that drives you not to manipulation or control, but prayer.

Larry Crabb writes this

The compelling vision really can be reduced to this:

not that your problems are going to go away;
not that your wife who’s having an affair is going to repent and come back and you’ll have a wonderful marriage (if that takes place, praise God, enjoy);
not that your kids are going to be all that you want them to be (if they’re walking with the Lord, celebrate God’s grace in your life);
not that health is going to be returned (if it is, again, praise God);
the compelling vision is not that you’ll have a better life;
the compelling vision is that there’s a better hope—that in the core of my being there’s an appetite for God that, because of the way we connect, that appetite can be stirred to the point where it becomes stronger than every other appetite. That no matter what is happening in my life, no matter what difficulties I am facing, I really want to know God with passion, interest, excitement, desperateness.
The compelling vision is . . . maybe, because of our conversations, we can want God more than we want any lesser blessing.

Just as I am writing this I am getting excited about the next seasons harvest. It’s like I can taste it already. This vision is compelling me to do what I can with what I have, now. It will take time, unhurried time, where I am invited to allow nature to take its natural course.

Perhaps a lesson here is that for a compelling vision to come to harvest there requires a letting go of control, and the demandedness that my expectations be met in my way and in my time.

What fills your vision today? An event from the past, a problem in the present or the potentiality of the future?

I’m also excited by this blog. I don’t know where its going to go or what will it look like in a years time.

March 2014 we had 258 visits to the website, March 2015 it had 1200 visits. What is the compelling vision for this blog that keeps me going?

Well its this. That something within me, that God has sown and continues to tend, will bring the fruit of life and hope into others. I want to inspire Mental Health. For people to look past the grit of the present to see the final glorious chapter and then to skip back to the page they were on so as they can continue turning the page and working through the yet to be written sentences.

I would love to hear from you about this, so please leave a comment below, or send me a tweet.

Barry Pearman

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