You Reap What You Sow
In 1988, we moved into a brand new subdivision, into a brand new house. Except for the trees lining the street which were planted by the developer, all the yards were barren - a blank canvas to be filled with all manner of landscaping.
We did the usual small evergreen type bushes and azalea for along the front of the house. Truth be told we will be going on our fourth re-do of shrubs for that area since moving in all those years ago. :-/
Over time, we planted a dogwood and two apple trees in the front yard. The year my daughter was born we planted a six foot pine tree that is now taller than the telephone pole out front. My father-in-law lived behind a nursery that would discard perfectly good trees. So we took a small poplar and drove it from New Jersey to Rhode Island planting it near the back right corner of our home. The tree is absolutely beautiful and grew very quickly. It is even taller than the pine I mentioned.
Over the years, as the trees matured, our yard looked established and nicely landscaped.
However, in the last three years, the very trees we planted are now causing significant issues to our home and yard...
The big pine tree has virtually destroyed our front yard with the acidity from the pine and the roots that are coming up through the yard. The apple tree is growing up through the wires that attach from the telephone pole to our house. Except for producing rotten apples, all the leaves fell off in the middle of the summer and it is looking like it will not survive another year.
And finally, the beautiful poplar tree's roots are growing into our foundation which was also once home to carpenter ants that ate through and destroyed one of our bedroom windows.
Sadly, all those trees are coming down tomorrow and at a significant cost to us, but also too, I LOVE the privacy and the beauty of these trees and will be so sad to see them go. There will be a big void when they are gone.
It's amazing to me that the very trees we planted, are now going to cost us quite a bit of money to cut down and remove.
Isn't that true in the Spiritual life, we go ahead and plant things without having prayed about it, read Scripture or tried to discern God's will.
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
When we plant outside and even inside of ourselves without praying, seeking God's will or counting the cost, we take the risk of destroying once fertile spiritual areas of our lives and falling prey to backsliding.
Whether we realize it or not, every moment of every day we are planting "trees". By staying in the Word of God and in close communion through prayer, we will have the discernment to know whether we are sowing for good or whether we could be sowing to our own injury or the injury of others.
All those years ago, had we assessed the surroundings of our yard and the proximity of the trees to those potentially dangerous areas or assessed the potentially negative impacts to our home, we could have avoided the expense of having those trees removed.
In the same way, if we constantly pray and discern God's will in all that we do and say, we will not carelessly plant to our demise, but will instead plant trees for the Kingdom of God.
...and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
2 Corinthians 9:6b
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