10 June 2014

"Do not be deceived:

God is not mocked,

for whatever one sows,

that will he also reap.

For the one who sows to his flesh will from the flesh reap corruption,
but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

And let us not grow weary of doing good,
for in due season we will reap,
if we do not give up."
New lettuce sprouts on the left, lettuce for harvesting on the right. These verses are good news for me and bad news for me. I've been mulling them over as I eat radishes and greens and raspberries, as I anticipate tomatoes and beans and cherries, as I watch new seedlings pop up, as I pull weeds, as I water, as I kick myself for not putting more seeds in earlier.

I've been pondering this reality as I remember neighbors that moved out or died and friends that moved on or times I moved on before really loving the way I needed to really love. I've sown too many seeds to the flesh, giving in to insecurity or selfishness or laziness or isolation or fear or unbelief or envy and unforgiveness--all of which are slavery.

I've also been thinking of it as I see ways that I have sown rightly, even small seeds quickly, which grow a good harvest. Some like those fat, red radishes, others slowly like the feathery dill even now just showing above ground. Loving or receiving or expressing or laboring or dancing or killing or restoring or serving: all of these can be called sowing to the Spirit, freedom.
We all want love. We all want joy/happiness. We all want peace and rest. We all need vision for a long haul, patience. We all desire and expect kindness. We all call out for goodness. We all long for understanding, gentleness. It makes sense to be angered by a lack of integrity and loyalty; we need faithfulness. We want to "marshal and direct our energies wisely." And when we don't have or get these good, right things, when the people around us are not these ways, we are all acutely aware that something is messed up, not right.

But, ironically, the only way toward these, is throwing the seed beyond ourselves… which feels entirely counter-intuitive. Sowing to the Spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control--these are not so much ways to act, as they are good gifts to receive. They are the fruit produced by the Spirit of Jesus, the One who is living and working and gardening steadily all around us all daily. Oh, may I increasingly choose to sow to him.

meditation on Paul's letter to the Galations

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