“He who watches the wind will not sow and he who looks at the clouds will not reap. Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things. Sow your seed in the morning and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them alike will be good.” (Ecclesiastes 11.4-6, NASB)
Tomorrow Cindy and I run in the Race to Robie Creek, along with our friends Dean and Irene. This is my first half-marathon, and I am somewhat apprehensive…but also excited to experience the adrenaline rush of competition. I have trained…although not as fully as I would have liked. Part of the problem has been one of the wettest springs on record. One Saturday I turned back on the mountain, running only 7 miles rather than my scheduled 10 because I was soaked to the skin. Another Saturday I skipped altogether. But of course, regardless of the conditions tomorrow, I will run to finish the race.
Our Christian race is wrought with difficulty. If we wait until conditions are perfect, we will do nothing. Those who finish strong are the ones who pay no attention to the wind or the clouds but sow their seed at all times. I confess that many times I have stayed in my comfy place rather than brave the adverse elements. I shudder to think how many great opportunities I have missed. It’s not that we strive to earn God’s favor. Thankfully, that matter was settled when we trusted in Christ’s work for us on the cross. But we do strive for the thrill of winning the prize…or at least finishing well.
Solomon’s words indicate that we really can’t understand our way. As we don’t know how a baby is formed in the womb, so we don’t know how God will use our efforts. But two things are for sure: 1) our labor in the Lord is never in vain; 2) if we do nothing God has nothing to work with. Solomon commends diligence…or industry as Benjamin Franklin would say. The important thing is that we sow our seed in the morning–that is in the first part of the day before we do anything else. But then in the evening, when we are so often prone to idle-away our time in frivolous activity (did someone mention TV?), instead we continue our labor. The reason? We don’t know which God will bless or whether He will bless both equally.
So maybe rather than watching the weather to see if we really have to, maybe we should take the attitude of the postal service: “Through rain, sleet or snow…”
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