Usually, around this time of year, we start to think about Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving reminds me of the British Harvest festival, when every autumn, we would give thanks for the crop that summer and place our donated tins and homegrown vegetables on the stage as a visual display of provision.
Giving thanks for the seed that was sown and the harvest that came.
The bible, set in an agricultural time, talks a lot about
sowing and reaping. The principle of what we sow has an impact on our lives. I remember a young man in his late twenties coming and sitting down in my office; he complained about people, life and the enormous issue that he had no friends.
I listened closely as he explained how he couldn’t connect with people; his self-centred tone and negative words filled the room. I began to see why the self-opinionated, abrupt fellow had a problem. I interrupted him as he paused to take oxygen into his lungs and begin his next homily.
“Have you heard of the law of sowing and reaping?”
He was puzzled; it is a law as sure as the law of gravity. If you jump off a three-story building, you know what will happen, in the same way, if you sow negativity and unfriendliness, it has a way of coming back to you but more often than you expect. I could see
I had him hooked, his mouth wide open, his nose screwed up. The Proverbs are full of wisdom, “a man who has friends must himself be friendly” (Proverbs 18:24), and if you want friends, you have to be friendly; you are sowing the wrong seed for the wrong harvest.
“But the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward” (Proverbs 11:18). Your words and your actions are like seeds thrown out in the world; your conundrum is that you are sowing the wrong seed into the world. Sow forgiveness, kindness, friendliness, generosity, and they will, in time, return to you as a harvest. While I had his interest, I introduced a final verse, ‘Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.” (Proverbs 19:17)
Envision your life as a garden. What are you sowing in your garden? Are you reaping some things that you do not want to reap? One of the biggest rewards of colour and fruit in my garden has been through the painful process of digging up and pruning.
This is not just about our attitudes or words that we sow; it is also about how we give to the world with our acts of charity, God sees this, and he will reward you. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9)
Phil Collins is a pastor at Willow Park Church in Kelowna.