A Better Harvest
Many years ago, I was introduced to that old adage, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result."
As a pastor, I can call out that kind of insanity all day long. I've been trained to see it, to ferret it out and do everything I can to help people change it.
And, truth be told, I've gotten pretty good at it. In fact, there have been times in my life when I've felt pretty smug about being able to recognize the "insanity" in others.
But when it comes to my own life, and my own insanity---now that's another story.
At my church we reserve a portion of our worship service as a time of confession. As a church we'll read what's known as a "corporate" confession, which typically contains an admission of how as a community we've both done and left undone things that obscure God's kingdom from being seen clearly.
Then we have a minute or so of silence, so we can reflect individually on the ways we need some repair in our personal relationship with God.
I find that I am always bringing the same things to the fore in those moments: I confess my pride, impatience, worry, lack of trust... the list of familiar issues tends to be pretty long.
And then it hits me. I'm doing the same things over and over again, and expecting a different result. I'm trying to live my life on my terms and then I'm disappointed when things don't turn out the way I expected.
In a way it's like I'm planting potatoes and expecting apple trees to grow.
In Galatians 6:7-9, we have these words of wisdom from the Apostle Paul: Do not be fooled: You cannot cheat God. People harvest only what they plant.
If we're going to live the full, abundant life that God means for us to live, we're going to have to start changing our planting habits. We can't keep doing/planting the same old, things on our own terms and expecting to harvest something transformative.
May you find ways to push back against the desire to plant on your own terms the seeds that are producing a lackluster crop in your life. May you plant new seeds of life and light today and every day going forward.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.