And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; and goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts up and grows— how, he himself does not know. The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. --Mark 4:26-28
So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. —Psa. 90:12
Life has a rhythm, a lot like walking. The foot that’’s reaching ahead to where you want to go will soon be the same foot you withdraw from where you’’ve been. In the motion of walking – like the motion of living – we straddle both where we were and where we’re headed with each step. Where you are today is the result of steps you took yesterday. And tomorrow you will either regret or rejoice in the steps you take today.
Sowing & Reaping…
And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil... —Mark 4:26
The entire Kingdom of God operates on the sowing and reaping principle. The farmer sits at his table today and eats the fruit of last years’ labors. He then gets up and returns to the field to labor for next year's’ happiness. Just like the natural laws that govern farming, our lives also are the result of sowing and reaping. If one can manage his life with that rhythm in mind, rather than always living only in the moment, he can live a productive life. Today’’s decisions can set up tomorrow’’s happiness. So don’’t react negatively to today’’s regrets over the fruit of yesterday’’s planting. But simply correct your sowing for tomorrow’’s improvement...
Like the stride of a walker, the value of his steps lay in the direction of his path. It’’s where he’’s going that makes each step important. In the same way, the value of the present is that it’’s an opportunity to either reconsider or reconfirm the direction of yesterday. Then either renew or change your direction for tomorrow. The present is the only point along your path where you can insert a change of direction.
It is certain that the Bible teaches the great principle that happiness is harvested. In that very principle, the Apostle Paul planted himself as he pursued God’’s purposes for his life.
Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it (perfect spiritual maturity) my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to, press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. —Phil. 3:13-15
Paul understood that his life, lived in its present moments, was no better than the pursuit in which he invested those moments, while they were his to control. Standing around, trying to find happiness and meaning in each solitary moment of life is a sure recipe for depression. Because the aimless, unproductive soul is weary. Purposelessness deprives the soul of its power of life. Thus Proverbs declares:
The sluggard does not plow after the autumn, so he begs during the harvest and has nothing. —Prov. 20:4
Paul also understood that sowing his life into pursuing “the goal of winning the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” was what made his life worth living. Previously Paul had sown all his efforts into developing the best life he could live for himself in the here-and-now. But after finding Jesus he realized the ultimate worthlessness of “pursuing all that the here-and-now has to offer, rather than “what lies ahead”. In fact, the principle of sowing and reaping was exactly what Jesus had in mind when He called us to discipleship by saying:
If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. “For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it. --Matt. 16:24 -25
The words of Jesus countermand the entire modern social concept, of using the divine principles found in the rhythm of life, in order to develop your best life here-and-now, rather than to sell it off in sacrifice, for His best life now and forever. This is exactly what Paul understood as he reconciled the sins and failures of his past with the blood of Jesus. That ended all grieving and remorse. Time to move on. He then reset all his priorities and redirected all his efforts towards fulfilling Jesus’’ claims over his life. This won’’t remove trial from your life, but you will live your days without regrets defeating your tomorrows before they come. Because you’’ll enter each new day in the peace produced by your efforts of the previous days. I know that tomorrow, when I come to it, I’’ll be happy in the fruit of the life I’’ve lived for Christ today.
In one of the rare glimpses of our life with Him in eternity, Jesus prepares us by stressing this important principle: that our faithfulness today will set up our position in the life that awaits us.
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ —Matt. 25:23
Paul also reinforced the same focus for us, as we walk with God today.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet so as through fire. --1 Cor. 3:11-15
So the rhythm of life, with it’s overlapping cycles of sowing and reaping, will carry us right into eternity. When our life is weighed out for all it’s worth, be certain of this, that your deep concern will not be whether you were happy in every day, but did your days bring you to a happy place.
Stay On The Path!