The Folly of Reaping without Sowing
7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
A few months ago, I was in a gas station on Saturday evening and caught a little show. A gentleman who was obviously a regular patron was standing to the side, conversing with the attendant and the rest of the customers as he was purchasing his lottery tickets for that evening’s “Lotto” drawing. I got the feeling this was part of his regular routine. He lamented for all to hear, “You would think after playing this ‘darn’ lottery every Saturday night for my adult life, the odds would work in my favor. But not yet! I’m still poor and I’m still playing!” Everyone in the gas station chuckled. He was quite the character.
He’s not that different from many of us; we often try to enjoy the benefit of reaping without the necessity of sowing. We imagine ways to reap financial security without sowing the seeds of hardwork, sacrifice, saving, and living financially conservative.
The promise of “reaping without sowing” is so tempting, we will give serious thought to rather absurd ideas. Late night informercials offer beautiful bodies, flat tummies, and toned biceps…all without the blood, sweat, and tears of diet and exercise. “Just take this pill and go to sleep! And you’ll start burning calories!” Or my favorite, “Put this electronic device on your abs and in just minutes, your washboard belly will start to form!”
We should pause and evaluate our lives. What are the ways I am trying to circumvent God’s law of reaping what I have sown? Where am I trying to reap the fruits and benefits of choices, actions, and commitments I haven’t made?
And we need to accept the responsibility for our lives, no matter how difficult that will be. We don’t want to admit that our family is disintegrating because we have sown the seeds of ambition and professional success, instead of sowing the seeds of sacrifice and family priority.
Few of us want to admit that we can’t reap the love and blessing of a wonderful marriage because we’ve never cultivated the seeds of kindness, servanthood, and Christ-like love with our spouse.
We don’t like having to be punctual, faithful, and committed before we can get the promotion at work, but that is what it will take. Most bosses are not willing to hand out raises and job titles just because you are a really awesome person with a cool Instagram profile.
Father, help me to accept the humble reality of responsibility so that I might enjoy the blessings of life lived on your terms in your world. Amen and amen.