I know the parable of the sower. There can be no harvest without seed sown for the desired harvest isn’t foreign to me. We desire. We plan. We plant. And we harvest.
Yes, I want tomatoes. So please excuse me while I go and plant these here tomato seeds. The same with my grapes, my money, and all the other practical mumbo jumbo. But the harvest I’ve always truly wanted, I could never quite identify the seed for it.
What I’ve wanted was commitment. I’ve spend many an hour in conversation and contemplation discussing, poking, prodding, and thinking about how to sow for it. I’ve finally come to a point of pristine clarity: I was sowing for it all along because…
TIME SPENT IN DEVELOPMENT IS THE SEED OF COMMITMENT!
If only you could have heard the philosophical conversations I’ve tied myself up in knots in on the search for this revelation. I thought it must be something in the genes of those who stay with things, concepts, and people.
My Pop (Alan Bell) retired last month after 37 years of dedication to Wrangler’s Division of VF Corporation. Mr. & Mrs. Waddell at my church Union Memorial UMC shared last night during the Bible study discussion that they’ve been married 50 years…
What were they doing all that time? How had it worked? Mrs. Waddell joked and said “sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t…” Why would she say that I thought? It’s clearly worked because they’re still here, together.
Her sweet & raspy voice saying “sometimes it didn’t” rang in my spirit for hours.
My best experience of things ‘not working’ has always translated into somebody leaving. When the chips were down, you left. Period. There never really seemed to be any other option. It was either stay and seethe in anger/sear in shame, or escape to a place where the mask of peace could be worn in peace.
My Pastor, Rev. Otto Harris, last night said something like “Communication is what binds us. Conflict is an opportunity for any relationship to come closer together, not be torn apart”.
I love that. I suppose it’s the idealist in me that wanted to take up a standard and march for those words as soon as they left his mouth. The realist in me though knows that healthy communication is a mighty harvest in and of itself. Many have yet to even till its ground, much less sow the seeds of self acceptance and humility it takes to grow anything fruitful in its field.
Before I let ‘the voice’ convince me that all the unhealthy communicative connections I’m currently connected to are all my fault; before I let it depress me, I’m back to Philippians 2:12. I’m safe in the arms of God knowing that what He’s asked me to do is stay on this quest of working out my own salvation with fear and trembling. The rest is not my work.
And once again, I’m free! Free to celebrate this beautiful spiritual milestone of finally understanding what commitment will cost me:
Time spent, over time spent, over time spent; mixed with some self acceptance and humility, and a heaping helping of real communication…
A recipe where all the ingredients are being grown in the garden of my heart!!!
Blessings & Strength,