“People reap what they sow. Those who sow to please their sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; those who sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 6)
I’m planting a garden this year – my first one ever. So I’m thinking about the imagery of a garden in other ways, too: the types of seeds we sow, but more specifically, what kind of harvest we will reap, depending on what we sow and what we cultivate.
The seeds of goodness that I want to plant in my life are ones of health. I want healthy relationships, a healthy approach to the work of my hands, a healthy investment in my relationship to God, a healthy balance (and challenge!) of exercise, a healthy dose of rest, and clean, whole, healthy foods nourishing my body.
But just as we do not reap a harvest the same time we plant the seeds in our gardens, so the seeds of goodness that I plant in my life take time to cultivate and nurture before they grow to a harvest.
Paul knew this would be difficult and he gives us the encouragement to “not become weary in doing good” (Gal 6). Cultivation takes discipline and the small, simple, daily acts of choosing goodness and health all day long. This can be a drag, but Paul reminds us that we will reap a harvest if we keep it up.
A new seed of goodness that I have planted is the discipline of rising early – before my children – to spend time with God. This has not been easy since I’m pregnant and still have an almost-2-yo who wakes up at night sometimes.
But I made the commitment, and God has been faithful to meet me in that time. I set a realistic goal of “early” – knowing that I wanted to pick a time that I could maintain daily, but also knowing that sometimes that would mean my children would wake during my quiet time. I have slowly pushed the time back to wake up even earlier because I have begun to crave the time alone with God.
I’m about a month into this practice, and it doesn’t seem to get any easier…but I know it’s a seed of goodness and cultivating this discipline is worth it – there is a harvest of goodness on the other side – a deeper walk with my savior – that I crave which pushes me through the difficulty of the bleary-eyed early mornings.
What gets me out of bed most days? These verses from Hosea 10 that I memorized:
“Sow for yourselves righteousness/Reap the fruit of unfailing love/and break up your unplowed ground;/for it is time to seek the LORD,/until he comes and showers his righteousness on you.”
It is time to seek the LORD. I say this to myself as I lie in bed with my finger on the snooze button…and what I hear instead is: Get your butt out of bed and press into the LORD…it will be worth it. And so I do…
If we keep up the work of planting and cultivating goodness in our lives, we will reap a harvest.
So let us not become weary in doing good – in pursuing health in a holistic, whole-person way. Let us continue to pursue discipline: drinking water, eating whole foods, making time for God, exercising…knowing that God is honored when we make good choices to take care of our temples.
In this way, our garden of goodness becomes an act of worship. And when we see the fruit of our labor, celebrate and praise God, because he is the one who makes things grow (1 Cor 3:7).
What seeds of goodness are you planting and cultivating these days?