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compost binLast week, we looked at the importance of breaking up or tilling the soil of our garden. Part of that process includes adding organic material to the soil.

And nothing beats the “black gold” of compost.

Compost. That mixture of decaying organic matter, such as leaves and manure, that is used as fertilizer. Where else can trash like used coffee grounds, banana peels, shredded newspaper, and grass clippings be transformed into something vitally useful? Into something that will feed my plants the nutrition they need and result in a bigger harvest.

Quality compost material doesn’t happen overnight. It takes heat and time (and often worms) to transform the rotting garbage into a rich growing material.

What about my life? Given enough time, even my old mistakes and disappointments can be transformed into rich material. Material to feed additional growth in my life and nutrition to add to the lives of those around me.

Take for example my being an extremely shy introvert in junior high and high school. I felt the pain of being a wallflower. The insecurity of not having close friends. The awkwardness of wishing to say something yet being afraid of rejection.

Bottom line? Those were years I’d rather forget. Until I walk into a room today and see someone acting just like I used to. My social mistakes as a teen have taught me how to reach out to the people around me. And how to cultivate quality relationships. Now that’s compost at it’s finest.

What else is compost in my life? Words I wish I could take back have taught me sensitivity and tact. Opportunities I wish I would have taken have given me the courage to take risks. First drafts of stories that will never see the light of day have given me experience and fed my passion for writing.

(While this blog originally posted in 2010, you can find more lessons about life in Devotions from the Garden: Inspiration for Life on the Books page.)

What about you? Have any of your past experiences been transformed into growing material? Has that compost enriched the lives of others?

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