In Thornton Wilder’s play, “Our Town,” Emily Wilder asks a poignant question. “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it — every, every moment?” Granted an opportunity after her untimely death to revisit her past, Emily chooses to observe her 12th birthday party. The reality of eternity rarely grasps the attention of those who sole focus is on the temporal. Everything on the stage of life can appear so frivolous when eternity is the backdrop. And that was the case while Emily watched the party.
A rich mad had the same wish.
Upon his death, he recognized the utter foolishness of his life on earth. He pleaded for the opportunity to send a poor man by the name of Lazarus to warn his brothers, but his request was denied. They, too, will receive the same opportunity to hear from the same prophets. And, they, too can choose to ignore their message, no matter how the message is given. (Luke 16:19)
It’s so easy to be caught up in the busyness and distractions of life as a means to excuse ourselves from spiritual concerns. Part of Christ’s urging is to look beyond our temporal lives. The worries and anxieties of life spring up like a forest of trees and block the view of the Son. Some may feel comfort and protected by the towering cedars and oaks. Yet, Jesus tells us to cut down the trees of temporal concerns and see the fields before us.
The disciples had the same problem. Traditions and misplaced ideas of the coming Messiah had grown mature trees of false expectations. The people were looking for a bread king to feed the stomachs rather than a Savior King to redeem their souls.
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.” (John 4:34-35)
In this context, Jesus encourages his disciples to look at the world through the eyes of faith. There, you will find your calling — to sow and harvest a field ripe with souls.
Man’s vision is limited on this earth. In fact, we are blinded at birth as a result of sin. Only a miracle of grace can open our eyes and receive the forgiveness of sins. Yet, even Christians struggle to seek or observe beyond ourselves. Distractions, worries, and anxieties cloud our vision. Instead of straining to see through a week pair of eyes, Jesus tells us to trust his vision. He sees through our forest and guides us to a fulfilled life that focuses on the spiritual. By doing so, a strong faith sees the fields, sows the seeds, and trusts that a harvest will come.
A life in Christ seizes the moment. They realize life in its essence while they live it. Every role in life is used to carry out a script written by God. There is no greater joy or purpose than to work God’s fields.
Click here to read Brenda’s story, “God helps those who cry out for help.”