Introduction – Sowing and Reaping

The Sower by Vincent van Gogh

The Sower, 1888, by Vincent van Gogh

For what things a man shall sow, those also shall he reap. For he that soweth in his flesh, of the flesh also shall reap corruption. But he that soweth in the spirit, of the spirit shall reap life everlasting.”
– Galatians 6:8

This verse from Saint Paul’s epistle to the Galatians speaks of reaping what one sows. If one sows corruption, one gets corruption in return. Likewise, if one sows love, one reaps love in return. Although St. Paul meant this in a spiritual sense, we can apply it to the temporal as well. If one planted tomatoes, what would one get? Tomatoes, of course. One wouldn’t get bananas, as bananas do not grow from tomato seeds. Thus, if one planted life, what would one get? Life, I hope.

Planting life requires sowing the seeds of life, but, alas, it is more complicated than sowing seeds for tomatoes. For human life is part body and part spirit, each of which is complex in and of itself, and how the two are joined together is beyond our understanding. But we know that for the whole to be complete, each of the parts must be healthy.

For the soul to be healthy, one must simply trust completely in God. In this earthly pilgrimage, for many, the way of the soul is hampered by the needs of the body, especially when those needs are essential to its health and survival. It is true that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) But I also believe that man is being attacked in his body with greater force and repetition in this present age than most of recent memory. Perhaps it is perceived to be easier to destroy the body than to destroy the soul. But once the body is weakened, it could open cracks through which enemies could enter to attack the soul. The body must be cared for, for it is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the health of the soul depends on the health of the body, and vice versa.

Fortunately for us, the way to the healing of body and soul has already been paved for us – we simply need to discover it, or rediscover, as it may be. This path is fraught with obstacles and enemies, even opposition from colleagues, and contradictions galore. But if we simply seek the truth, then even meandering roads will lead to truth. “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…” Jesus said.

With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, may the steps along the way provide us with the seeds for cultivating life – thus, that by sowing life, we may reap life.

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