Slouched down in my leather seat in a crowded railway car, I was being gently rocked to sleep by the rhythmic swaying back and forth of the old train clattering across the Polish countryside. Returning from a student conference in the mountains where I had been teaching and counseling with college students all weekend had left me a bit weary, lonely and depleted. Suddenly, the train took a small bend and the view changed drastically. Thousands upon thousands of bright red poppies, gently swaying in the wind, spread over miles of the countryside.
I was mesmerized by the beauty and began to imagine the invisible hand of God intentionally spreading seed generously over the many fields, so that in a country where there had been so much division, war and darkness for so many generations, that there would still be a picture of His beauty, creation and life to comfort those who would see it. This has become to me a sort of picture of my place in the world.
Jesus often talked about sowing seed in His parables. The people of His time were tied closely to farming, sowing, and reaping because their very lives depended on the well-being of crops as their source of food. I desire that there be a harvest of righteousness in and through my life as big and expansive as the poppy fields of my memory. James 3:18 says, “The seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.” This verse would indicate that righteousness is sown by peacemakers. Jesus communicated to His disciples in Matthew 5: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.” Jesus gave His life so that we might have peace with God. His whole being is focused on redeeming, buying back that which was lost, bringing life where there is death.
I am most like Him when I, too, become a peacemaker, a redeemer, bringing peace where there was hostility, life where there is death. We must sow the seeds of righteousness, seed by seed, so that our harvest will be plentiful. We must sow seeds daily—weekly–for our whole lives, that there will be remnants of His beauty, peace, and redemption, everywhere we go, every day that we live.
If we sow peace and not anger in our home, there will be a legacy of peace. If we sow anger, a legacy of anger and death will develop. It is a choice we make, every day, every hour, as to what we are sowing and what we will reap. The seeds I sow affect the people in my life every day. I must make a decision in my heart to sow seeds of peace where there is strife–to choose to be a peace-maker and to sow God’s love and redemption. I must sow seeds of encouragement and faith through my words and through my writing to bring others to the point of peace in their own lives.
Seed by seed, choice by choice, I have the ability to bring about a great harvest that will be ready for reaping in the final day when I meet Jesus face to face.
What seeds would the Lord have you plant, today?