a voice crying out in the postmodern wilderness

Plowing Forward

Plowing Forward

Jesus said to him, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)

Throughout the gospels, we see first hand that Jesus conceals things from certain people. He would do miracles but then tell people to keep quiet about it. (Of course they never did.) He would tell the demons to shut up when they recognized him. This is mysterious, and that's the point. I am sure that there are some theologians who would smugly state that Jesus did this for such and such reason but the truth is we don't know. That's where divine mystery comes in.

We live in a time in between times. Salvation has come through Jesus' sacrifice, but he has not yet returned in glory to sort everything out. Thus those of us in Christ live as a redeemed people in a fallen world heading for terrifying glory. It will be terrifying because when Jesus returns he's not going to be riding a unicorn playing poppy Christian music that's safe for the whole family. When he returns it's going to be downright scary, though many of us will be delivered. 

I digress.

The in between time is a bit murky, isn't it? You can easily see the brushstrokes of God but you can also see the bloodstains of the enemy. Here we sit in the fog of this cosmic battle, though we too often sit unaware.

Time for us is linear. This moment is past the previous moment. And so on. We are getting older with each second. And as we live inside this in between time in this linear fashion, there is this thing created called history, which is a record of past events. The actions which we take or do not take right now will fill the pages of history, even if it's unrecorded. Interestingly, our actions will also plant seeds for the future, one example being our influence on our children which remains long after we're gone.

Here is what I want to say here. There is much mystery and fog, and we do not see clearly. By virtue of God's word and his imparted wisdom, we can cut through some of the fog but mystery remains. And thus, we do not fully know what impact our life will have. While I do not know the reason why, I am sure there is a perfect one.

For those of us that follow Jesus, he calls us to drop what we're doing and follow. Not gather our belongings and sort out our affairs. Not create a contingency plan. Just go, now, one day at a time. We are called to sow seeds of love and kindness and righteousness, which are all of course seeds which must be first given to us by the Spirit. So we scatter seed, some indiscriminately and some carefully. Some don't sow at all, and merely consume what others have sown. Further still, some devour what others have made and leave a wake of scorched earth.

The call to the Christian is to set our hands to work. To share Christ with others through the way we live our lives. To work hard, love hard, and play hard. And to look forward while we are fully present right here, right now. 

Consider a farmer plowing a row. You've seen those rows in planted fields, right? The rows are perfectly parallel and seem to go on forever. As you drive by your eye skips row-to-row. Well imagine what would happen if the plowman looked backward as he plowed. How straight would his lines be? Or imagine if he fretted over the harvest the whole time? He would lose focus. Or imagine if he was obsessed with straight lines? He wouldn't get much plowing done.

As we set our hands to doing the work of living as God's children, sometimes we need to just plow forward. To take it one day at a time, suck in two lungs full of God's given air, and take a step. We will not get to see the entire harvest, but that doesn't mean it isn't there. We are blessed to be hired hands under the Farmer, and he is always faithful to pay exorbitant wages of joy and grace.

So plow forward.

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