reaping what you sow

"When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it's our job to share our calm, not to join their chaos."  --L.R. Knost

That's one of my favorite parenting quotes, and I think it applies to more than just parenting.

For those of us who believe in Love:

When the world is freaking out, it's our job to share our hope.

When the world is hyped up on hatred, it's our job to share our love.

When the world is overwhelmed by anxiety, it's our job to share our calm,

And never, ever to join in the chaos.

The problem is this: we have to have a hope, a Love, a calm to share.

Not my pineapples. Sorry, can't give you any.  (photo: me and my cell)

Not my pineapples. Sorry, can't give you any.  (photo: me and my cell)

I used to think self-care was selfish.  Now I know better.  

What I own, I can share.  

Out of my abundance, I give to you.

The good seed--love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness--planted in me grows and matures into good fruit we can all enjoy.

Of course, the opposite is also true: bad seed grows into a mess of weeds that doesn't do anybody any good.

A couple of days ago, I heard a bit of a sermon from big-name, well-respected preacher in our area.  He was talking about how the world is a place of danger and how Christians need to hunker down and detach from everything to keep themselves safe.  

I listened to this man, and I wondered:

  • What ever happened to: "Peace, be still?"  
  • What ever happened to: "Don't be afraid, I'm with you?"
  • What ever happened to: "I pray that they will be One?"
  • What ever happened to: "God loved the whole world so much that he sent his son?"

While I think this man is a sincere follower of God, I also think he's allowed some bad seed to be planted in his life, which is now producing some rotten, stinky fruit.  

And it's sad to see.  Because he had other choices to make.  And he didn't. 

Last week, Andy and I were on vacation in Kaua'i, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

We stretched out on the sand, we swam in the surf, we hiked in the rain forest, we watched the stars.

Then we got up and did it all over again the next day.

For seven days.

Over and over and over.

The sun comes up:  there is beauty.

The sun goes down: there is beauty.

And for me, that was a week-long immersive experience in the Truth that there is an eternal Love, a Love from everlasting to everlasting, that holds us all, safe and secure, no matter what.

No angry orange person, no corrupt government, gets to be in charge of that Love.

But us?  You and me?

We get to receive that Love into ourselves, and we get to share that Love into the world.

We don't have to be afraid of everything! 

Love fills us and gives us courage and hope and more than enough to share with everyone.

sunset on Hanalei Bay (photo: Andy Bruner)

sunset on Hanalei Bay (photo: Andy Bruner)

"Perfect Day" is a great sound track for Kaua'i, where every day felt like the perfect day.

And right at the end of the song, there's the perfect reminder: "you're gonna reap just what you sow."

It's a great reminder that what we allow into our lives matters, on a deep level.  Not just for ourselves, but for our families, our communities, and our world.

We are people who follow the Prince of Peace, not the creators of chaos, and that has to inform our choices.  

What do we click on?  What do we read?  To whom do we listen?  

If we want good fruit, we've got to sow good seed.  

And so, dear friends:

Sow love.

Sow peace.

Sow hope.

Sit with beauty.

Hold hands with your best beloveds.

Breathe in the holiness of quietness and confidence.

Nurture faithfulness.

Water gentleness.

Let the sun shine on kindness, and the moon and stars watch over self-control.

Let Love grow luxurious and wild inside you like a jungle rainforest.

Ferns, flowers, rain forest (photo: Andy Bruner)

Ferns, flowers, rain forest (photo: Andy Bruner)

Then.

Reap the goodness, my friends.

All that gorgeous, delightful, delicious fruit.

And share it with a hungry world.

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