Life Notes—June 7, 2012
“So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Today, on my drive home from work, I noticed wheat fields being harvested. These fields were large spans of lush green carpet a few weeks ago, but have now matured to a rich, golden brown. Many of you know thatKansaswheat is a biennial, meaning it requires two growing seasons to mature. Normally that means planting in the spring of one year and harvesting in the summer of the next, effectively tying up the field for two years for a single crop. But someone smarter than me figured out you could “trick” the wheat by planting it in the late fall, just early enough for the seeds to sprout before going dormant for the winter. To winter wheat, that counts as the first of its two years of life, so the next spring it matures and can be harvested—all in a single year.
But I digress. This Life Note is not about wheat, but about what is seen and unseen; or more accurately, seeing the unseen. If the farmer had not “seen” this summer’s harvest last fall, months before he could actually see mature wheat plants, the farmer would never have planted. If someone had not envisioned the possibility of planting a biennial one fall to harvest the next spring, wheat farmers would only harvest a crop every other year.
I have a tendency to put more faith in what I can see than in what I cannot. Yet the computer I am writing on is powered by electricity I cannot see and connected to the world by a wireless, thus invisible, internet connection. My thoughts, the wind, spoken words and love are all unseen, yet very real and powerful. All good things on earth today are the product of something far different from the past. Babies become adults. Seeds grow into trees. Romantic love, often so visual and flighty in its early stages, matures into something more stable, beautiful and less worldly over time. Physical life is born, grows, matures, declines and dies. But our spirits use the cycles of life as training sessions, conditioning us for rebirth in this life and the greater life beyond. As the scripture above says, “…what cannot be seen is eternal.” Our hope lies not in what we see today, but in what we envision for tomorrow. If you cannot see beyond this moment, perhaps you should close your eyes…
This Sunday Tom will be preaching downtown, where Life worship is at 10:00 AM in Brady Hall and traditional worship is at 8:30 and 11:00. Mitch is preaching at the west campus where contemporary worship is at 9:00 and 11:00. His sermon title is “God does not care what color your thumb is,” based on Mark 4:26-29.
Come home to church this Sunday. What are you not seeing these days?
Greg Hildenbrand, Life Music Coordinator