Till is a beneficial thang for farmers and gardeners. Tilling breaks up the top layers of soil, adding air and allowing moisture to permeate below the surface.

Last summer, my friend used a rototiller while replacing my worn-out backyard sod. Boy did we need that rototiller to dig down deep to rip apart those webs of 25-year-plus fibrous roots!

She Who Tills Her Land

While many agriculturists follow low-till or no-till practices these days, tilling or plowing is typically useful at some point. The same can be said for our lives.

I’ve been pondering tilling all year. Yep. Actually since December 28 of last year when I ran across a verse in Proverbs 28.

Somehow Proverbs 28:19 (NASB) grabbed me: “He [she] who tills his [her] land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.” The word till just resonated with me. Perhaps because I have a degree in agriculture and journalism and grew up in small-town rural Nebraska?? Maybe because I enjoy gardening?? Could be. Maybe because I used to make mud pies as a kid?? Perhaps.

Regardless of why I was initially drawn to till, I quickly scrawled in my journal: “What does it mean to till my land? What is my land? What land, particularly fallow land, do I need to till in 2024?”

So without much contemplation, till became my resolution focus word for 2024.

Open the Barn Door

Here are some perspectives to my own questions: I think our land is the relationships, talents, skills, work, property, opportunities and other resources that are part of our personal sphere of influence. When we till anything in our land, we help keep this resource healthy and vibrant and receptive to new growth. Tilling our land clears out the distractions and choking weeds that threatens to overtake what we are good at and what we enjoy doing in life.

As the old adage says, “the grass is greener on the other side” and it’s tempting to want to go looking for new work or a new house or new friends or even a new spouse when we’re bored with or tired of what’s in our current land.

As I’ve researched till this past month, I’ve realized a few points that may be helpful for you too.

  • Before we can start tilling, we’ve got to open the barn door.
  • Most of us have several barns (work, family, church, sports, etc.) and it’s important not to have too many barn doors open at once.
  • Once you’re in one barn, check out the operating condition of your tilling equipment (what are the tools, energy and time that you need to till i.e., computer, college courses, networking help, and so on.)
  • Know the condition of the soil and best time/temperature to till. Ecclesiastes 3:1 reminds us “there is a time for everything.” Don’t just plow (pun intended) through your list of to-dos to work your land. Be intentional about the best time of when, where and how you will till and who you may ask to join you in the adventure.

Is It Time?

In rototilling my backyard last June, I had no idea how monstrously extensive those tiny grass roots had grown underground. Could the same be said of my life? Of your life? What web of fibrous roots are buried in our thinking or actions and they are holding us back or slowing our growth in some way?

Is it time to open the barn door, till your land and rip apart those pesky roots and bothersome weeds so you aerate the soil and can plant something new?

Like me, 2024 could be your year for till to be your thang.