What Happens if We Forget First Principles

When a people loses touch with the land they lose touch with more than just geography, they lose touch with a fundamental principle of life:  the principle of sowing and reaping.  The ages brought us from agricultural society to industrial society, and now into information society.  We’ve gone from first hand experience of reaping and sowing to second hand to third hand.  Our distant ancestors were intimate with sowing and reaping, our recent ancestors lived in respect of it, but this age does not know or understand it.  The a-farmer-holds-sea-oats-seeds-in-his-hard-worked-dirty-hands,1937045implications are not just economic or political, but relational and spiritual as well.  Once we forget that we must sow in order to reap, or that others must sow and reap in order for us to thrive, we have forgotten how to live at all.  We don’t cultivate the ground – the earth, the communities, our own hearts any more.  We begin to believe life “just happens,” and that abundance is a right of human existence.  We expect to receive when we have done nothing to even prepare ourselves to receive, much less to sow something that someone else might receive.  Relationships wither as people stop sowing into another person’s life.  Marriages and industries, communities, economies, and nations cannot long survive and certainly do not prosper when the majority of us let go of the principle of sowing and reaping.

It takes courage to sow, but if you decide you are not going to do it you are contributing to the destruction of our world.  A time is coming when enough of us will be far enough removed from the land and the principle of sowing and reaping that the land will die.  Society will die.  It will take a movement of people who sow fearlessly to save us.  It will take a movement of people who teach others to cultivate real industry, real economies, real communities, real relationships.  I believe that movement can best be fueled by a people who most would suspect of having the least motive for doing it; Christians.  Why do Christians care about sowing and reaping in this world?  Isn’t the whole gig about getting out of this mess alive and moving on to heaven?  No it isn’t.  Christianity is not about escaping this world and going to heaven, it is about cultivating this current ground we hold as servants of the Landowner who is surely coming.  Christian doctrine is that yes, the faithful are going to be with God in heaven, but it is also that God is going to bring heaven down to earth.  This is the closing act.  Not disembodied spirits with clean hands stroking harps, but new bodies with new hands digging in renewed earth.  Becoming a Christian is not an act of cowardly escapism, it is an act of courageous acceptance of the responsibility to dig in here and now and to sow for heaven’s sake.

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