This got published without a name . . . So I’m naming it now . . . Will it work?

Have you ever tried to tell someone who knows more than you do how to do something? And I’m not talking about a situation where the difference in intelligence/knowledge is only perceived and not actual; I’m talking about a situation where you got full of yourself and decided to tell so-and-so what to go do with himself (and exactly how to do it).

I don’t think I’ve ever done it out loud. Usually I just bottle it all up inside and lit it simmer, but it’s the same thing. If you think it, you might as well have done it.

Isn’t that kind of silly? Don’t you think it’s silly to lecture someone or get upset at someone for doing something you don’t like when they know better what they’re doing than you? (That sentence was structured terribly; forgive me, I’m having trouble waking up this morning.) I know a little bit of javascript code and I’m pretty good with computers, but does that mean I can march up to Bill Gates and tell him how computers are supposed to be? I’m an okay writer, not published yet (yet being the operative word), but does that mean I know enough that I can march up to somebody like Ted Dekker or Stephen King and tell them how to write? And I can certainly hold my own in the kitchen, whether baking or cooking, but I’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but does that mean I can do Rachael Ray’s job better than she can?

You get what I’m saying. We think we’re so good at what we do that so many times we start beliving that we know everything about it. And we don’t. Let’s be real here, folks. We don’t know anything. I think about what my Pastor said at church this past weekend about how Solomon asked God for wisdom because he didn’t know how to go into a room or come out of a room. He didn’t know anything, and neither do we. So where do we get the idea that we do?

The verse for this morning is Galatians 6:7-8.

 7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.

 This is one of those verses that is quoted a lot — so much that part of it has become part of popular culture. You reap what you sow. It’s one of the natural laws that God set up from the very beginning. When you plant something, it will grow (and that even stands true if you live in Kansas and a hailstorm pounds the fool out of it; it still grows; it just doesn’t grow straight). And not only will it grow, it will grow the same thing that was planted. You can’t plant a wheat seed and get corn. It doesn’t work that way (sorry to disappoint all you Hopeful Monster Theorists out there, but it works the same with biological reproduction and always has). Additionally, what you grow will always produce more than what you planted.

So if you plant wheat, you’ll grow a lot of wheat (again, unless you live in Kansas, and then it’s more likely you’ll grow a lot of wheat that you end up using as insulation in the barn because it’s been beaten to a pulp–but it will still be wheat and a lot of it).

It works the same way with life, folks. If you plant seeds of bitterness in your life by allowing yourself to resent other people, you’ll harvest bitterness. If you plant seeds of anger, you’ll harvest rage. Whatever you plant, you’ll get more of the same in abundance later on in your life. And you can’t escape it. Fortunately, it works the other way around too. If you plant kindness, that’s what you’ll get in abundance. Same with faith and joy and love and mercy. But those are harder to invest in other people because you have to look at somebody other than yourself.

I remember a quote from the show House, M.D. (which is one of my favorites but I never get time to watch it). It was in one of the earlier seasons, and I don’t remember which episode it was. But Dr. Wilson is on the roof talking to Dr. House, and this is what he says: “You don’t like yourself. But you do admire yourself. It’s all you’ve got so you cling to it. You’re so afraid if you change, you’ll lose what makes you special. Being miserable doesn’t make you better than anybody else, House. It just makes you miserable.”

It’s common sense.

And what’s even more common sense is that fact that you can’t hide it from God. If you think you can just slip your thoughts or your actions or your behavior under a rug and God won’t noticed, you’re wrong. God’s God. He knows everything, sees everything. Everything. He knows more about computers than Bill Gates. He knows more about writing than the most prolific authors in the world. And, yes, He even knows more about cooking than any cook on the Food Network. He knows more than anybody anywhere anytime.  So where do we get the idea we can tell Him how to live our lives?

My Pastor has another saying which I love: You can’t flip God off and win.

And you can’t. Sooner or later, what you’ve planted will catch up with you; it’s only a matter of time. And when it does, it isn’t God’s fault because He isn’t the one who did the planting. We start the process by putting the seeds in the ground, and then we’re surprised when it produces a harvest? Humans are funny people.

I don’t know about you guys, but I think I’m going to go plant some good seeds today.