Monday, May 30, 2011
Kernels of Corn
I just got back from a great weekend with my extended family. It was so good seeing cousins after such a long time. One of my cousins has the family farm, and he still plants crops in the old fields. One of the things that he has been planting is corn. He takes the corn and dries it out and then grinds it down into grits and corn meal. He uses the corn sheller that my grandfather used. Two years ago, my sisters and I drove to the old home, and we tried our hand at making our own grits and meal. I'm sure it was entertaining for my cousins to see the "citifolk" (my sisters and I) getting so dirty from the scalp down and loving it! We had never done anything like it, and we probably never will - unless we make it back down there with our own kids! My cousins have perfected the display and do it for school groups, scouts, homeschoolers. It is such an interesting thing to see something as ordinary as cornbread and how it evolves from the field to the table.
If you think of a giant field of corn and then move to the potential ears therein, can you even begin to imagine the number of kernels that are there? And if you take those kernels and grind them down into grits, how much more could be counted? The process is only multiplied further when corn meal is made. This is exponential growth. The one field becomes many ears which become many kernels which become many grains. This is the kind of math that God practices!
So many times, we feel like our lives are not worth much. We think that we aren't accomplishing the great things that we just knew in our hearts that we should be doing. I often have found myself thinking that I have lost all potential, that I am not doing as much as I should. But if we each consider ourselves a field, all we have to do is touch the ears of corn within our borders. We aren't responsible for every kernel. There is a downline, if you will, of outreach that should be occurring. In other words, I am responsible to be a light to the people who are in my family, my work, my community. The ultimate goal is that those people, then, take something from me and in turn influence the people in their realms of influence. From there, the next level turns and takes it on. If you can picture yourself making an impact on just 12 lives, and those 12 turn and touch 12 and those 12 turn and touch 12 and so on, in just nine cycles, you have impacted every person on the planet. When you look at your life in terms of personal impact, this make the task seem so much less daunting, doesn't it? We can make a difference in our families, in our communities and in our world. In fact, we will never even know the extent of our influence until we are face to face with God and all is revealed. I have a feeling we will be surprised at the ways that we have touched the lives of others.
I think of my cousins who bring kids to the farm and teach them about the simplicity of good food. The potential to make an impact on the lives of those who visit is great. The kindness that is displayed can warm the heart of a child in desperate need of love.
Likewise, when we encounter a person in need a prayer offered up could do so much to bring great light to a lonely soul. I challenge each of you to be a light. We don't even need to be a beacon! We just need to bring Jesus to the people nearby, and then we can encourage them to do the same. In fact, it may not be the huge assemblies that will make the most impact in the end. It will most likely be the people like you and like me who have lived lives of example and gently led others to do the same who will impact this world in the greatest fashion.