And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows;he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
~ Mark 4:26 - 29
Living along the Gulf, we witness many things as the tides rise and fall, as storms come and go, and just watching every wave as it uniquely washes upon the beach.
Because I visit the Gulf near Galveston, where the Mississippi Delta waters often cloud our shoreline, rarely can you see to the bottom. So when the tide rolls out, and exposes the beach, there will be miles of shoreline that one can finally see.
With the water drawn back, one can finally see clearly what the waves often hide.
We are so like this shoreline. We develop layers, like the waves upon the sand, that prevent others from seeing us clearly. Only when we reveal, or become vulnerable, can others truly see what is happening in our life.
The ability to become vulnerable can be frightening for some. Others it can be time-consuming finding ways to avoid being transparent to others, while there are some who are comfortable in their own shoes, and don't mind sharing openly.
The Gospel writer, Mark, attempts to share that our maturation is a normal process. Like the grass in the field, we grow as blades of grass, maturing, and then at some point we reach full maturity and are harvested.
I love to watch a field of wheat in the summer sun as the wind creates waves like that of the Gulf. The current is reflected over the countryside, as golden shafts move in cadence with God as the orchestrator. Then the field is left in stubble once the harvest is complete, exposing what is below.
So it is with us. We react and move to God's unceasing call to each of us. Our ability to react is often tempered by our own ability to shift and change. While some have built up thick outer layers, making it difficult to adapt and move, there are those who find comfort in being surrounded by community, so that when the storm comes, all are sustained by holding one another upright.
Fields and beaches are funny like that, and so are human beings, but all are God's creation. And for that, I am grateful.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.