“And though you started with little, you will end with much” — Job 8:7
Recently I thought about the majesty, and brevity of a ‘FLASH’.
Most things in life, of value, accrue over time, build over time, gain momentum, value and worth, over time.
In our ability to travel by jet, prepare meals via microwave or instapot, relationships through swipes and casual hook-ups, or drive thru meals picked up, we are no longer well acclimated to the slow burn, the long haul, the small beginning, the steady pace.
Another part of our culture that has changed is the urbanization and lack of people exposed to any kind of gardening, farming, or ranch life. These activities, or these ways of life, teach you the process of time, from beginning to end. The mundane pace of life as the ground looks barren, but you know you planted seed in there. After a process of time, when you’ve about forgotten to expect it, you see the seeds begin to sprout!
I am reminded of a clear example that I noticed last spring on my drive to and from work. I am fortunate to be able to travel the ‘back roads’ and through a bit of farming country. Last spring I took particular note of a set of fields that were plowed, planted and then….nothing, for about maybe 6 weeks? Then BOOM!! There was a full healthy crop, what seemed like OVERNIGHT! This reminded me of a parable Jesus once told –– “And He said, ‘So is the King of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;….for the earth brings forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that then the full corn in the ear….” Mark 4:26-32
There’s a lot that happens after that seed is planted, and watered, and day by day, to our eye NOTHING is happening. But, beneath the soil SO MUCH is happening. The seed transforms, breaks forth, as it progresses NOTHING REMAINS. Of what it used to be, it develops a root system, to sustain and anchor what’s coming, and then it starts developing and pushing through the soil and reaching towards the sky!
What’s not to love about that!! So much we can learn from the pictures of nature!
The Hebrew people understood that all of nature was designed to teach us spiritual principles through illustrations.
“While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease”. — Genesis 8:2
We often say ‘Good things come to those who wait.’, but we are not always prone to live by it.
Sometime in my later twenties, I noticed a tendency I had to burn quick and hot in the pursuit of something, but also, if I wasn’t careful, to burn out. As a result of this observation, I continue to work to be focused, persistent and faithful. Sometimes these things come naturally, sometimes they take extra grace, and sometimes a bit or more of grit!!
I find that when I can remember to roll the care onto Him, He is more than faithful to be my strength, my focus, my steadfastness.
While our society celebrates the instant everything, God’s Word is replete on examples and principles, of incremental growth, starting small and growing big.
I love sparklers, fireworks and bon fires! The first two are sudden, bold, bright, crackling and brief! The last starts slow, builds, and then gives off a quiet, multi hued light and warmth for hours, if carefully tended. They all have their place. But, as far as life goes, I’m aiming for an EPIC bon fire!
Just some examples of definitions of ‘flash‘:
2. To break forth in or like a sudden flame or flare
3a. To appear suddenly ‘an idea flashes into her mind’. b. To move with great speed. ‘The day’s flash by.’
4a. To break forth or out so as to make a sudden display. b. To act or speak vehemently and especially in anger.
5a. To give off light suddenly or in transient bursts. b. To glow or gleam especially with animation or passion ‘her eyes flashed with anger.’
6. To change suddenly or violently into vapor.
7. To expose one’s breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly in public.
8. To have a sudden insight
In life, we put in effort, we do work, we invest, and the benefits of our efforts do not always readily appear. But, if we continue step by step, in time we will see progress. One day we will look around and see satisfying results sprouting forth that will make our heart glad measure. When we do it in faith, trusting the Lord for the guidance and the strength and the outcome, we leave room for Him to do exceedingly abundantly beyond anything we could ask, think, or imagine.’ Ephesians 3:20.
I have to say Batman has been a really, really great teacher of this principle! He’s the one who got my attention in my twenties about being quick to speak up, but not always to follow through! It smarted, because he only ever encourages me, so it carried a great weight. Because of it, I learned to mentally ‘count the cost’ before I speak up, and then prayerfully follow through. I think it’s super important not to try to be consistent in and of our own selves, but always depending on the Grace of God to make us able! I’m going to try a couple of small permanent steps in a couple of important areas this week, that I hope in a few months will bring some of those results!
Start low, aim high, gain big!
Happy Sunday, Y’all!