What ya want? The infamous question every man asks a woman knowing full well what the answer will be.
"I don't care."
"Whatever you want."
"I don't have an opinion."
"I just want food."
Even though we definitely know, we definitely ALWAYS have an opinion and we are more than likely going to shoot down every suggestion that he is going to through out. It's a question that we answer dozens of times everyday. When we get hungry, usually we know exactly what we are hungry for. I have a love affair with good Chinese food. If I am hungry for Chinese- I will not find myself in the Taco Bell drive through. Too extreme of an example? Ok then. What about when you go out with your family to your favorite restaurant and your belly is rumbling at the thought of getting to enjoy that dish that you order every time . With anticipation you tell the waiter what it is that you want and then wait for what can seem like an eternity till that steaming hot, straight outta the oven, dish gets lowered before you... only to find out its the wrong thing. You ordered the chicken and got fish instead. What do you do? We try and grab the waiter before the take off back to the kitchen and ask them to correct this error that has taken place. Why? Because we had an expectation that what we ordered and planned for would be delivered.
Why is the spiritual any different? Everything God does starts in a seed form. Even Jesus Himself, started His journey on this earth, not as a man but as a seed. God dreams start as a seed. Business ideas start as a seed. Relationships start as a seed. But seeds can be tricky. They are tiny. They are vulnerable. They are defenseless. And they require work. They require planting. They require care. And this is usually where we quit and take whatever 'dish' is placed before us.
I CANNOT BE ENVIOUS OF SOMEONE ELSE'S HARVEST THAT I NEVER PLANTED. The relationship you are jealous of, that business you covet, that person who you want to be so badly.... you may see the harvest they have reaped but you didn't see all the seeds they have been sowing... on purpose! I cannot be jealous of my athletic friend when all I am doing is sowing donuts. I cannot be jealous of that couple who seems to just be perfect; now knowing the time and effort they have put into building something strong. Sowing and reaping is a God given law that is built into everything you do, whether you believe in God or not. What you sow, you will reap. Period. Full Stop. So why not put some intention behind the seeds you sow every day. If you want better relationships- start being the kind of friend you wish you had to someone else. If you want your business to take off, start sowing seeds of informed knowledge and sweat equity. Want a stronger marriage? Start by putting the others needs before yourself with nothing expected in return.
"He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the evil of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the thirsty dwell,
and they establish a city to live in;
they sow fields and plant vineyards
and get a fruitful yield.
By His blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their livestock diminish.
I must plant the seeds HE GAVE ME. I MUST EXPECT TO HARVEST WHAT I PLANT. Good or bad. If I really expected to harvest everything I sow throughout my day, there are a lot of bad seed that I wouldn't want in my field. If I want to build a church with a loving, inclusive culture... I cannot be exclusive with my actions. What I sow I will reap. Culture starts with me. You don't make culture. You are culture. So here is my first question for you:
1. WHAT ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR?
What do you want to see in your life? Maybe you want people to give you more time? Start giving people more of your time. Struggle with depression? Go help someone with theirs. Pick them up and go out for ice-cream. Want this business in your heart to come off the page into the real world? Start sowing something every day that gets you one step closer. Reach out to others around you. Learn. Educate yourself. Sow smart seeds. Seeds that will get you a good return. James 1:5 says that he will generously give wisdom to those that ask without reproach. Go home and Google Business Licenses or business conferences, order that book, talk to that person, just start doing something. What are you hungry for? Maybe you just want to be recognized. Start recognizing those beneath you. Are you hungry for children that will drop their rebellious spirit for a humbled heart? Put your phone down and turn the tv off and start sowing some seeds of genuine family time. We need to start putting some intentional seed into our fields. You can settle for whatever the waiter brings or you can go after what you want, what you hunger for. A farmer doesn't plant corn and hope for beans.
2. WHAT DOES GOD WANT TO WATER IN YOU?
I have been in church my whole life and no one ever talks about the gap. The gap between seed sown and harvest. SEED. TIME. HARVEST. There are seeds in my life that I planted years ago and I am still waiting for them to sprout up out of the ground and other seeds that I planted and harvested within days of each other. Some things take more time then others. You never know when what's in you will find its due season. So actively position yourself to get watered. We do this by being in church, involved, soaking in the Word and having our vines pruned (John 15). Never comes into the house of God passively. Lean in. Trust the atmosphere that has been created and pull everything you can from it. Every interaction, every cup of coffee, every note being sung, it's all a layer that gets you closer to Him. Get around other Christian people who know how to build our faith, inspire your dreams and water your soul. We need each other. Nurturing takes time and care. Watering takes everyday discipline. Don't quit and think the seed was bad. Your soil just wasn't ready yet. Stick with it.
3. WHAT DOES GOD WANT TO HARVEST IN YOU?
I think if I could ask Jesus this question one-on-one, I think His answer would be, "The seed I gave you." So many times I get worked up comparing my seed to someone else's harvest. I know if it wears me out- it has to wear God out. We waste so much time comparing. I think he would love to see harvested in us things like: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22). If I am faithful to the field I have been given, with the seed in my hand, He will be faithful to multiply it greatly. The grass isn't greener on the other side. The grass is greener where I water it. But the harvest doesn't come without a fight. Don't cheapen your harvest by always wanting someone else's. Fight for your harvest. Fight the seed planted in your heart.