“The times are never so bad that a good man cannot live in them.” --St. Thomas More.
I take such heart from these words! I look around and see chaos on every level (and I mean even in my own household! Got kids?) It seems as if the world is going crazy and all of my meager efforts to do “good” amount to nothing. If I get short-sighted and allow my eyes to wander off of the “Promise” and only look at the immediate, I can get very discouraged. That is why I must always turn my gaze to the TRUTH found in God’s word to see what HE, the Maker and Ruler of all has to say about my concerns. I need to keep doing what He has asked me to do, no matter the chaos that seems to be surrounding me.
In Galatians 6:7-10 we read this: “Make no mistake: God is not mocked, for a person will reap only what he sows, because the one who sows for his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows for the spirit will reap eternal life from the spirit. Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. So then, while we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, but especially to those who belong to the family of the faith.”
So there it is. We are told very clearly--we WILL REAP WHAT WE SOW. No matter what it looks like at this point in the growth process, God is not mocked. The principle of reaping and sowing is eternal.
Here is what I have learned from many, wiser than I, about “farming with an eye to eternity.”
1. You will always harvest what you plant. If it is pumpkin seeds you plant, it will be pumpkins that you pick. BUT, interestingly enough, it may not be from the field in which you planted them. God’s ways are not our ways. He is not bound by time and space as we are. If you show kindness to someone in need, he may not be the one to repay you. The world is round! God will allow kindness and generosity to find its way back to you. That is why we do ALL things unto GOD! He is the Great Harvest Master. He gives to all generously, just as we, out of love, generously give all that we do unto Him. “Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
2. You always reap more than you plant. If you plant one pumpkin seed, you will get many, many more in return! You just can’t out-give God! But no two plants are the same. Each gives back a unique number depending on soil conditions, weather and environment. Do not “compare and despair.” God is in charge! He says this in Luke 6:38: “Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you.”
3. Not all crops grow at the same rate. For anyone who is impatient, this is not good news! Some crops takes much longer to harvest than other. There are “cool season” quick crops and “warm season” slow crops. That is why it is sooo important to renew our minds to the truth in Galatians 6:9: “Let us not grow tired of doing good, for in due time we shall reap our harvest, if we do not give up. “ Patient endurance, hope and fortitude are needed if we are sowing for eternity.
Take heart! And encourage one another in your crop growing efforts! Going to Church and being nourished by the sacraments, meeting together and studying His word, praying for one another, a smile or a thank you to someone, can be like a cooling rain in a long hot growing season.
“We should not stay away from our assembly, as is the custom of some, but encourage one another, and this all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:25
I could lose hope in this chaotic world if my eyes were only on it. But You are eternal and Your ways are eternal. I need only look to Your Word to see that You are in charge and You are asking me to “sow with a view to eternity.” So help me keep my “eyes on the Prize” --You! And the good that I do, do only for You, and allow You to do with it what You will. That is true humility, detachment and love. Only by Your grace can this be worked in me. Thank You Great Grower of all Good things in this world and in and through me.
I ask this in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.