Sow and See

A week ago, we had subzero temperatures here in Canada. Two days ago, a snowstorm of winter proportions hit us with full force. I curse the all season tires we have on the car and it’s poor performance on slick roads! Yet — We’ve dug ourselves out and declared war on the white stuff. Teehee, you wanna know what we did while the rest of our world hid in the shadows of a few more weeks of winter? We planted seeds for spring!

Yup, the Sunblaster grow light is up and running and the basement has turned into our little mini greenhouse. We are still beginner gardeners, here, but I’m following in the footsteps of a few others who seem to have started things (and seem to know what they are doing). I don’t know if we are doing things right; I really didn’t research seedlings or time zones or whatever zones, nor have I planned what may need to be started early or late or … well, let’s just say I went on a whim and threw some seeds in some dirt and stuck them under a bright light with a well watered mat.

A few weeks back we heard a good sermon on the passage in Mark 4 about the parable of the Sower who sowed some seeds. Which seemed perfect to chat about since we have started the little urban garden in our basement recently. We were reminded that the farmer just scattered the seeds aimlessly… or so it seemed. Does it seem illogical to you that nowadays we plant neat little rows of crops and the farmer of old just threw seed willy-nilly so that it lands in all different types of soil? Why waste the seeds on ground that won’t produce harvest? Upon further research, I discovered that that was, indeed, the way the sowers sowed back then! So much for planning!

Which brings me back to our little grow light and our early seeding experiment. We have simply planted and will see what happens. Which is exactly what God wants us to do with the gospel! We have no idea who God’s story will hit and when … it is simply our job to sow the seed. Ecclesiastes 11:6 says:

“In the morning sow your seed, and at evening withhold not your hand, for you do not know which will prosper, this or that, or whether both alike will be good.”

ESV

As many of you know, my word for the year is “brave” (you can read about it here)… and I am trying to be brave about sharing my faith, even in subtle ways here and there… because I will never know what kind of impact I may have. Will the seed grow and be strong? Or will it be just the beginning of a spark and others will fan the flame? Have I made an impact in someone else’s life by reflecting God’s love when they needed it most? These are the questions I must ask myself often.

Check out our Instagram page for the full reveal!

So, what do you think, my beloved readers and followers? Would you be interested in a deeper study about the parable of the sower? Should we look at it for a few more weeks? Shall we see where the “growth” may take us? Leave me a comment below if you are interested in studying this with us (or any topic you might like!) This week our corn has been the first to pop it’s head out of our indoor trays. Last year, our corn didn’t grow or flourish at all… could this be the start of a good crop this year? We can’t know for sure… but we are remembering that we just need to sow and see!

Patiently Waiting

The last two days on my route to work, I encountered a sight that I thought I would share about and how it lead to this week’s muse. On the corner of the intersection where I turn down the street, was an attractive young woman dressed in a turquoise jumpsuit with matching coloured Covid mask. Her jet black hair was long and hung straight down passed her waist. The first day I saw her, she was crossing the street in front of my car and I simply thought she was thoroughly enjoying her music as she bopped across the intersection in her earbuds. Yet, her animations were a bit too boisterous not to be noticed. As she neared the corner of the sidewalk, she raised her hands and began pointing and waving at passing cars like some pro wrestler entering the arena for the heavyweight championship. Her smile was wide and whatever the words were to the song, I was unknowing, but I couldn’t help but smile at her exuberance.

I’d like to imagine she was praising the Lord — bopping to some upbeat worship tune and just couldn’t help but share His love with the passing cars. More than likely she was fighting the voices in her head, and lived with some issue that perhaps lead to her bewildered actions, which is sad, but it made me think: am I that excited about life and the people God puts before me?! So much so, that I would share my story (or simply my praises) with passing vehicles? Without a care or thought to what the rest of the world might think of my mental stability?

Photo: Jay Clark (Unsplash)

I had to attend jury duty this past week, which was an experience in itself in this post Covid-19 world. The venues had to be increased from the simple courtroom holding spaces to convention centers to allow for “social distancing” of the potential jurors. There were about five waiting rooms with about 45 people in each… seated 2 metres apart in single rows of chairs. Each with faces covered in masks, each attending to their own worlds of reading materials, laptops and cell phone messages. No one talked, no one smiled at each other. No one barely looked past the back of the person’s head in front of them. We simply existed, shuffled about like ticketed cattle, waiting for our number to be called (or praying it doesn’t get called). It was all very odd.

Each of these two scenarios had me wondering about the people in my world. My neighbourhoods and the people I come into “contact” with everyday. 2 Peter 3:9 says this:

 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

NIV

The full chapter describes the “Day of the Lord” — His return to earth. I am to be anticipating His return, yet anxiously sharing the good news, so that “everyone shall come to repentance”. I’m afraid I do a miserable job. I may giggle and ponder at the exuberance of those who are gifted in evangelism… sharing their faith at street corners. I may contemplate the sheer volume of the population “still to be saved”. I send my gifts to those who devote their lives to the cause, both at home and overseas. The truth is, it only takes one to win one. To simply tell my story, and let God do the rest. It’s not my job to change hearts. It’s not my job to turn lives around or fix the broken. He’s merely waiting patiently for me to open the door for someone. I’m slightly convicted. What’s my excuse? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment about how you share your faith! Motivate me, so the Lord doesn’t have to be so patient!

Fear Factor

Have you ever been afraid? Sure, I think just about everyone can relate to that gut-wrenching feeling of fear. The panicked, flight or fight response when your body tenses up or goes into complete meltdown because of some deep seated fear of dying, or falling off a cliff, or your youngest going off to kindergarten, or being poisoned by some foul toad bewitched by an unlikely fairy godmother. Well. You get my point. Big fears are easy to pinpoint and easy to explain away.

Yet, what about the little fears? The nagging, “uncomfortable” feelings that are not rational fears, but take hold of you nonetheless? Do we talk about those fears? Do we even call them fears? “Anxieties” perhaps? Unease. Apprehension. Worry. Perhaps this worldwide pandemic has heightened those unforeseen thoughts for you as it has for me. Do I send my kid to school this fall? Do I ride public transit ever again? Why am I finding it so nerve-wracking to be driving on a four lane highway again after so many months of going nowhere? Will I ever fit into real pants again?

I must tell you a little story about my weekend in order to assist you in following my web of convoluted thoughts about fear, and consequently, my muse this week. We spent the weekend up at the trailer, near the lake and welcoming the final weeks of Canadian summer (albeit a strange one à la Covid-19). My beloved convinced me it was a perfect opportunity to spend a little time canoeing with him. Now, I like canoeing. I used to canoe often. I’ve even canoed with my husband. I’m not a white-water portage expedition canoer, but I can paddle. Yep, I can even steer the motorless boat! Still, the initial reaction to the invitation was fear. I have not been in a dugout piece of floating wood in a very long time. Years. I’m a little curvier now. And less agile. And a whole lot “awkwarder” in a wobbly floatation device than I used to be.

Our old canoe was light, and very tippy, and sank to about an inch off the water’s surface. But, our new-to-us boat is wider and sturdier and “will certainly hold you” assures my beloved. I agree to a short paddle. Then fear. True, my fear was irrational. There was no reason for it. No clear explanation of why my brain went to where it went. I had a lifejacket. I can swim and paddle and have a partner with me. We were barely going offshore. Yet, there it crept: the nagging trepidation of the what if’s.

As I thought about those feelings and how irrational they were (we had a delightful time on the water by the way!) I was reminded of 2 Timothy 1:7. The Amplified version expands it out nicely:

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.

2 Timothy 1:7 AMPC

Why do we get so caught up in our petty thoughts when the God of the Universe has given us a spirit of power and a mind that is in control? Do we let Satan weasel his way into our thoughts and twist them into self doubts, creeping anxieties and irrational fears? How much more does God want me to share my faith? Surely more than He wants me to try paddling a canoe after so many years. And yet, so many of us have an underlying fear factor there, too. Why do we find it so hard to share our faith? God is bigger than those fears! He gives us the power and the confidence and an extra dose of love to push us along the way. Like the gentle wake of our canoe, may you be encouraged by the wave of power that is God promised, and may calmness and self-control be your guides this week as you paddle through your faith journey, one small fear at a time!