Sewing the Right Seeds
Hello again from Managua, Nicaragua!
There are times when I am writing or putting together a devotional when it seems that God is clearly pointing, through any means possible, to a specific topic about which I should cover. This is one of those times. This past Saturday, I was cleaning my apartment while listening to a sermon delivered Reid Robinette, my friend and the pastor at my home church in Maryland. As Reid spoke he mentioned the concept discussed many times in the Bible that you reap what you sow. As I listened to what he was saying, it hit me that this concept would be incredibly relevant to the teenagers at El Canyon who attend my weekly, Monday night devotional. Then, on Sunday morning, the sermon presented at church touched on this topic as well. With both of these experiences in mind and the fact that we were discussing plant propagation in our agriculture classes, I decided this would be the topic for Monday night. So, why is it so important to understand that what you harvest will almost always be what you plant? Let’s take a look at that.
As I started my devotional on Monday night, I showed the young people a small container that we are planning to use to propagate plants. If you are not familiar with propagation, it is basically the process of taking a plant from seed to big enough to plant in the field. I asked them to tell me what it was and for what it was used. The teenagers who participate in the agriculture class correctly answered that it was used to germinate plants. I then told them I was going to plant cucumber seeds and wait for tomato plants to grow. After asking them what they thought of my plan, I received some “are you kidding me” looks and a chorus of answers explaining to me why that wasn’t going to work. The bottom line was that if I plant cucumbers, I will harvest cucumbers. To say it another way, if I want tomatoes, I better plant tomatoes. As I said to the young people, the irony is we tend to do this all of the time in our lives. We make decisions or do things that will clearly “grow” into failure and pain down the road, but expect to “harvest” a great and bright future or, at the very least, a positive result in a particular area of our life. In Paul’s letter to the churches in Galatia we read, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7-8, NIV 1984). As we read here, the truth is quite different from our perception. When we decide to live a certain way or believe a certain thing, we should fully expect to receive the matching byproducts in the future. In other words, if I choose to live as if my future doesn’t matter and base my decisions around this destructive perspective, I should expect to have a life full of struggles and destruction and pain in the future. Conversely, if I make decisions based on the fact that God has a great plan for my life and that the future is relevant, I more than likely will enjoy the fruits of my labor and live a fulfilling life in the future. Obviously, there are exceptions on both sides of the scale, but this is the way God designed the world to work. It is neat to think that God gave us a pretty simple formula for making decisions that would lead to a desired result.
The next logical question is, “what does this mean for our everyday lives?” First, I think it has incredible spiritual implications. I believe the most important of these decisions is choosing to have a restored relationship with God through belief in Jesus Christ and His work on the Cross. I believe there is no other decision that will have a greater impact on our future, both today and for eternity. Being in a right relationship with God and guided by the Holy Spirit changes your perspective on the future and what might be possible for your life. I have seen this in my own life, the lives of many friends and even the lives of many people in Nicaragua. Sewing a right relationship with God through the person of Jesus, allows us to reap the best product one could ever hope for, eternity with our Creator. Beyond this incredible opportunity, I believe it means having a clear picture of what we want our future to look like and making decisions every day that will lead us closer to, not farther from our desired result. I truly believe it is that simple and I only think you have to look at the lives of people throughout history to know this is true. I am, of course, not naive enough to think that the future always turns out the way we pictured it. There are always twist and turns in life, but I believe we will be a lot closer to what we hoped for and, more than likely, exactly where God wants us, if we choose to be “naive” enough to live as if it was possible. If you don’t believe me, look at the lives of Martin Luther King, William Wilberforce and Abraham Lincoln. They reaped what they sowed and the world is different because of it. What will you sow today?