My optician tells me I suffer from progressive myopia. In layman’s terms, I am short sighted! I find the use of the word ‘suffer’ somewhat misleading, though, as my ‘condition’ is fully rectified by the use of corrective lenses. However, sufferers of spiritual myopia are, potentially, in a very precarious place! They live in a world of the ‘now’, the world of immediate gratification. In contrast, Christians are to be people who take a long-term view for, in the words of the Apostle Paul, “… we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,” (Galatians 6:9).
Though I enjoy a little gardening, I suspect that I am one of the world’s worst gardeners. My horticultural challenges began at the tender age of six in Rainhill in Merseyside (where I grew-up). One day, my school teacher in Longton Lane Infant School announced that each of the class were to bring in bulbs for planting. I have a faint recollection of turning-up with a 40 watt type. I lit up the class!
I learned three things about ‘planting’ very early on:
- Firstly, if you don’t sow, you won’t reap.
- Secondly, what you reap is determined by what you sow.
- Finally, you do not sow and reap in a day, it takes time.
My classmates and I had to wait for those mysteriously planted bulbs to reappear as beautiful flowers.
If it is true in the natural sphere that we must ’speculate to accumulate’ (so to speak), it holds good in the spiritual realm also.
Investment in the Kingdom of God will usually call for a ‘long-term’ perspective when, by faith, we are content to sow and see, to plant and patiently wait. Often, the results of our investments won’t be fully realised until the ‘books are opened’ in heaven and our personal accounts are made known to us.
Sir John Laing was a well-known, wealthy and respected Christian businessman. Early in his business career, he set himself a ‘programme for my life’ (as he put it) which he summarized: ‘First, the centre of my life was to be God - God as seen in Jesus Christ. Secondly, I was going to enjoy life, and help others to enjoy it’. After he died in January 1978, this multi-millionaire’s published will detailed his net estate as just £371. All around the world today, there are countless Christian churches, organisations and individual believers who have benefited from the stewardship of a man who, with patient foresight, sowed to please the Spirit.
I checked the stock markets this morning. The FTSE 100 share price index was up 18.02 points. The Dow Jones was down 268.22 points. The Nasdaq was down 85.47 points. However, I checked my Bible also and the ’eternal’ share price index is presenting us with much better, longer-lasting returns. I know where my money, time and resources will be - what about you? Happy investing!