Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Black Gold

In a world dominated by one news story you can be excused for being unaware of the significance of this week,  03-09 May 2020. It is in fact, International Compost Awareness Week. ICAW for those who care. If you have never discovered the mysteries and magic of compost you have missed one of earth’s most treasured secrets.

Quite simply compost is the natural process of turning waste into life. Take any once living substances like vegetable scraps, lawn clippings, coffee grounds, fallen leaves, human hair, saw dust, animal manure and so on and add them to a pile with ample moisture, aeration and time – and the result is a rich fertile brown soil improver called compost. Compost recycles waste. It adds beneficial organisms to the soil. It’s good for the environment. It reduces landfill. It’s carbon sequestration – yes it removes carbon from the atmosphere and builds it back into the soil. It’s free. It’s natural. It won’t cure Covid-19, but organic food grown in compost is a rich source of nutrition.  

Metaphorically Australia could be described as the compost nation. The refuge, riff raff and ragamuffins of Great Britain were transported to this vast land with its ancient inhabitants. Add weather, time, struggle, gold, sheep and a few more ingredients and Australia is not such a bad outcome. Sadly it also includes exploitation, theft and degradation, but out of all the mess modern Australia shines brightly.

The Navy, too is nurtured by diversity and time. Mix in warships a jumble of  navigators, war fighters, aviators, submariners, divers, writers, chefs, stewards, boatswains, hydrographers, technical types and logisticians (and many more) from all over Australia, often with colourful and questionable backgrounds- add in a good serve of Royal Navy imports and the odd Kiwi and the modern Royal Australian Navy is surprisingly impressive. Training, hard work, commitment and discipline sharpen the mission focus.

Spiritually, even an ancient faith takes on a little of the compost theme. God takes us with all our drama, insecurities, weaknesses, foolishness and failings and believes in us. He loves us in spite of our sin. He calls us to be family. Transforming our darkness into light. Giving us hope, meaning and joy. Resurrecting our human soul.  

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

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