Hopeful Deed

Have you done something that seems contrary to human wisdom because you believed it was divinely inspired? Have you ever acted, knowing you were only planting a seed God would bring to harvest beyond our lifetime?  Jeremiah’s doubtful deed of signing a doubtful deed for a worthless piece of property is just such an example.

Persons of faith not only read the signs of the present times; they must also act on their confidence of future times. When everyone around is pulling their hair out, a person of faith keep their head; acting upon a vision of the future that only faith can bring into view.  Learning how to think backward from the future, not forward from the present is a skill needed.  Therefore, we do not engage in improvement programs for the world.  We contradict the world as it is, by acts of faith in the world that will be.

After World War I, a French general named Louis Lyautey requested that his gardener plant a particular kind of tree on his property.  The gardener said it would take that tree a century to come to full maturity. The general declared, “In that case, there is not time to lose!  Plant it this afternoon!”

We don’t think in terms of centuries in our hurry-up give-it-to-me-now culture.  We are not very patient, whether in love or war.  We want what we want right now.   This is why we give up acting on our hope.  We think it’s all just wishful thinking.  Fredrick Buechner reminds those caught by such despair, “Sometimes wishing is the wings the truth comes true on.

Earnest Campbell once preached a sermon at Riverside Church in New York, he said: To be young is to study in schools that you did not build. To be mature is to build schools in which you will not study. To be young is to swim in pools that you did not dig. To be mature is to dig pools in which you will not swim. To be young is to sit under trees that you did not plant. To be mature is to plant trees under which you will not sit. To be young is to dance to music you did not write. To be mature is to write music to which you will not dance. To be young is to benefit from a church that you did not make. To be mature is to make a church from which you might not benefit.

Execute doubtable deeds that God can turn into hopeful seeds for generations to come.  There’s no time to lose.  You better get started this today.


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