Sowing Machines

I am honored, truly, to introduce you to Ron Demiglio, a brother who shares my twisted but biblical perspective, with an excerpt from his upcoming book, Tuna on Rye: An Uncommon Look at All That Evangelical Stuff

sowing_seedttt“They’re gonna reap what they sow.”

Most of the time I hear that phrase uttered, people mean bad things are certain to sucker-punch bad people. They use the phrase as if it’s a magical spiritual truth that when spoken, somehow transforms the Dove of the Holy Spirit into the Homing Pigeon of the freshly-washed carnal car.

I confess. I often want this to be true. I want cruel people to experience the swift return of the bad choice boomerang as I stroll around my own private amusement park of misguided satisfaction. I watch with sordid pleasure as the stalks of skunk cabbage break the swampy soil in the lives of those who have sown poorly.

Oh, you’ve done the same thing? Thank you. Whew. I’m not alone. So let me ask you, why are we so consumed with watching (and secretly hoping for) the negative consequences of people grabbing the wrong kind of seed? Our lives, our spirits aren’t enriched by this observation, are they?

The Reason We Stare

I think we use the sowing and reaping binoculars on others so we don’t have to witness the consequences of what we’re tossing into the fertile ground of our lives. Pretty handy self-distraction tool, don’t you think?

What If We Thought More About Sowing Good Seeds Instead of Watching For The Bad?

I think Christians can be described as caffeine powered sowing machines that are always running—whether we’re sowing the good seed or the bad. (No, that definition won’t make you a better “Singer”) It’s pretty obvious what good seed looks like: Grace. Encouragement. Love. Seeds sown in a staccato cadence of grace, encouragement and love should be the norm. We should be sowing seeds that empower believers to flourish in their unique abilities and calling.

The Problem? We Like The Bad Seed.

We like being esteemed more than esteeming others. We like talking much more than listening. We want to be noticed, praised, thought well of, adored. (Can anyone say, “original sin?” Yes, thank you sir, yes, I see that hand way in the back.)

So we glance at the two bags of seed on our hips and too often choose the bag of seeds that has a rich variety of poison ivy, and noxious weeds, and spread them not only on our land, but the land of our brothers and sisters, because the land is all connected.

Here’s Johnny!

Remember Johnny Appleseed? That guy was incredible! He introduced the apple tree to five states. How? By never staying in one spot too long. If he’d remained in one of those five states long enough to see the trees sprout and grow to beautiful maturity, he would have never made the impact he did on a much larger region.

If you’re sowing seeds in the lives of family or loved ones, nurture those you scatter on and tend them, as would a farmer. If your seeds go out to the world at large, scatter them and trust God with the growth and care. Wanting to always see the results of our seed sowing will seriously restrict the territory we bring life to. Seeing the fruit grow to maturity should be considered a rare blessing from God and not a right of ownership.

Sowing In Concert

Supermarkets didn’t become a part of mainstream America until the 1920’s. Prior to that, people got the majority their food from coops, gardens, fields, forests, farms and small, specialized retail businesses. Don’t be deceived – our churches are not the sowing supermarkets that exonerate us from our individual seed sowing responsibility. We are called to serve and sow corporately as well as individually.

I realize that giving away possessions, sowing encouragement and life in order to get richer make as much sense as engaging in a pizza roll and Twinkie diet to fit into your high school jeans. In truth, I wish I were not emotionally hamstrung by any of this pesky, faith-based, counterintuitive smarm. But my spirit tells me that abundant life can be found in this stuff.

Sowing the seeds of grace and mercy is a daily commitment to hope and redemption. Gleefully monitoring the results of other people’s transgressions is a daily surrender to despair and loathing.

Lose the ledger, loosen your grip and let those seeds fly!

Stop by to visit Ron at the place in space he calls home: Shun Common Ron Dimiglio

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