Tuesday - The Importance of Now. Throughout NOT FAR FROM THE TREE, by Ruth Smith Meyer, you are drawn to the importance of now, that is living in the now rather than in the past or the future. Rina's past gives her much to be joyful for, but it is that rejoicing that she does now that is important. She looks back over her past, especially over each of the children she and David raised, but it is her focus on who these children have become that brings her the most joy. She learns that while each of them is so very different, there are still ways in which "the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree", just as she realized much of her strength she learned and modeled after her mother, Ellie Kurtz. The past is important in its own way, but there is nothing we can do about it. It's what we do in the present that is most important, because it directs our future and will one day be what we look upon as our past.
There was a farmer who went out to plant good seeds. This farmer lived a long time ago, so he didn't plow and arrange things in nice little rows like farmers do today. After the fashion of his day he would scatter the seeds across his fields and hope for a good harvest. Because he used this method of planting he found that some of the seeds landed on hard soil, paths and such that had been packed down by the repetitious walking of people. Other seeds fell among rocky places where he had fashioned stone walls out of the rocks he removed from his fields. Other seeds fell among the edges of the fields where briers and thorns grew up. Yet there were those seeds that fell on the soft, prepared soil. Doe's this story sound familiar to you? Let's look at it some more. The seeds that fell on the hard ground barely had time to do anything before birds came and snatched it up. The seeds that fell among the rocky places shot up quickly, but died as soon as the sun beat down on them because they had no roots. The seeds that fell among the edges of the fields where thorns grew could not compete with these sturdy weeds and eventually were choked out. Yet the seeds that fell upon the good soil produced a good crop. At harvest time the farmer reaped a harvest among these and found some had produced 30 times as much as the original seed, others 60 times as much and still others 100 times as much. Still not sure about this story? Look it up in Mark chapter 4.
Why am I including this here? Because what we put into life in the present is what we will reap benefits on in the future. It's something we will be able to look back on and say, "Remember the time when...?" Now take this and apply it to Rina. During her married life and beyond she went about planting love in all she did. It wasn't always easy, sometimes made more difficult by David's crazy moods or jobs, but she never answered him harshly. She responded in love. She cared for her children as much as she could, and wished that some of the older ones did not have to help her with this. Indeed there are times she felt sad about the way Jessie seemed to have been thrust into the role of substitute mom at times. Yet, looking back and gathering the children to herself, or they to her, she finds that she has been blessed many times over and her children have also been blessed. They have learned to plant love and benefit by reaping love. That is the importance of now. So, what are you planting in your life today? What kind of seeds are you tossing down into the soil of the lives of those around you, particularly your children? Will you be able to look back and be content one day, or will you be filled with regret? The choice is yours, right now. You can change the bad ways you have been doing things and begin doing good things, but as we find out so many times in NOT FAR FROM THE TREE, you have to have the Lord in your life to make those good choices.
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