"If I am a field that contains nothing but grass-seed, I cannot produce wheat. Cutting the grass may keep it short: but I shall still produce grass and no wheat. If I want to produce wheat, the change must go deeper than the surface. I must be ploughed up and re-sown."
C. S. Lewis ~ Mere Christianity
This quote got me thinking. Clearly, Lewis has in mind that a Christ follower has something occur that is a fundamental difference in kind from what they were before. The difference between grass and wheat.
Most of the time in the church we look for differences in degree. Better attendance, better giving, more baptisms, professions of faith. The church in Saratoga Sunday attendance is...
Numbers in general are counting out differences in degree. It was 83 yesterday. John Doe hasn't missed a Sunday all year, or has brought 15 of his friends to church...or has read his Bible through every year for the last 15 years. All are good things, but not the best thing.
What Lewis is pointing to clearly is if we are looking for something that numbers can never indicate. He is pointing to a difference in kind. Grass and wheat are both plants but one is ground cover and one is a source of food. One looks nice and one is productive. One according to Jesus is burnt up and the other is gathered into barns for safekeeping.
Here is the thing...I am clear that a fundamental difference occurs at conversion. It is written across the gospels in love and in large print letters. But that change is on going and points toward a harvest that occurs repeatedly. The harvest itself creating the seeds for the next years harvest. So difference in kind leads to ongoing organic growth that is not forced or stilted but instead the natural thing that wheat does. It requires ploughing and sowing and reaping. It is a field, a life and an organic process that continues to be tended.
Lord Jesus--So where are the places that ploughing is required? Where are the places where planting is taking place? Where in my life do I sense without any doubt the blessing and fruitful harvest of the Holy Spirits work? Thank you for the Holy Spirit's ongoing tending in my life.