In one of my favorite books, There is a Season, Joan Chittister quotes an Arab proverb: “Every morning I turn my face to the wind and scatter my seed. It is not difficult to scatter seeds but it takes courage to go on facing the wind.” Chittister continues, “The ability to stand steadfast in the face of opposition is the real charism of the sower.”
Once one accepts a call to sow, then one would rather sow in fertile, not futile soil. Pleading for less toil and snares, we are tempted to seek instant fruit living in this fast-paced success-driven culture. It is this embedded culture of instant success that one is easily tempted to bypass the labor of sowing. We live in a society where one’s labor and capital are disconnected. Dangerously, folks in Wall Street made billions of dollars without labor, but only by transacting someone else’s toil that bypassed tax obligations. When the norm is living like kings and queens, the folks on main street also mimic extravagant lives depending on a debt economy— a buy-now-and-pay-later credit card system.
We made a mistake. What we should have done when people crossed the line of faith and become Christians, we should have started telling people and teaching people that they have to take responsibility to become ‘self feeders.’ We should have gotten people, taught people, how to read their bible between service, how to do the spiritual practices much more aggressively on their own.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
Though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior (3: 17-18).
Young Lee Hertig, PhD, is an ordained pastor and serves as a professor at seminaries and Christian colleges. She lives with her husband and daughter in Southern California. To contact Young, please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.