I watched a bond hearing for an 18-year old man this week who was in jail for a charge of destruction of property, stemming from an incident where he allegedly broke someone’s cell phone. This is a misdemeanor charge and normally would not result in the defendant being held until their trial except for the fact that apparently this young man had some more serious legal problems pending. The status of his other pending charges and his alleged violation of remaining of good behavior led to a decision of no bond for this misdemeanor charge.
When that decision was announced, he completely lost his composure. All of us anger and frustration were release in yelling and profanity. His desperation was apparent as he proclaimed, “I’m trying to get my life turned around and I can’t do it in here. I just got a new job; I am supposed to start today. I cut my hair and everything!”
He ended up being taken out by deputies but the declaration of his good intentions supported by his evidence of a haircut resonated with me. To most of us, that is no big deal and it’s just normal to present yourself in a way that is acceptable in order to get a job, fit in at a workplace, etc. To this kid, though, it was apparently a pretty significant change to his previous norm. He made a conscious decision to make changes in his life which probably aren’t comfortable or easy for him. His frustration was that even with this effort, things still weren’t going his way.
His recent changes were showing some signs of promise; he did get hired. There were still the remaining consequences of his previous choices. He had most likely spent years planting seeds of negative choices and only recently was trying to get things turned around. Only recently had he changed the seed he was planting from negative to positive. The fruit of the negative seeds is still blooming and he’s dealing with the consequences.
In order for him, or any of us, to enjoy the fruit of positive seeds based in healthy and productive decisions the seed has to be cultivated. It has to not only be planted but also cared for. Some of the seed will fall in bad soil which is a hard heart from negative choices, circumstances and consequences. The soil has to be fertile for the seed to take root, grow and bloom. That means that things like anger and bitterness need to be weeded out to prevent them from choking out the growth of the new, positive seed.
It takes some time and intention for any of us. We have to protect our hearts and purpose ourselves to be growers of positive choices in the fertile ground of a healthy and free heart. That heart only can be truly Free when it is yielded to the Gardner.