Recycling and parables


cornEvery time I am about to not recycle something, (usually because I can’t be bothered to go out to the recycling bins on my drive) I am reminded of Pete Rollins and some words he has about seeing what someone believes through their actions, their commitment. That usually reminds me what I do believe and gets me out there to the bins. But it also reminds me of how far short I am falling when laziness is enough to make me think twice about going out to my front drive to drop some plastic in a bin, let alone getting out there and manifesting God’s compassion in the world.

The thing I think about immediately after that (usually while I am in the act of dropping said plastic in our recycling bin) is the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed that falls on good ground yields fruit, so fruit is evidence of a Christian life. But what is interesting about the parable is that the corn isn’t full and perfect, over flowing with abundance. Instead its yield is variable ’30, 60, 100 fold’. In other words, some people yield more than others, some people’s lives are more transformed.

And that’s ok.

It’s a counter cultural position which says that if you haven’t been the best you haven’t succeeded at all. Second is first loser and all that. Its also something that is often missed in church teaching, yet blindingly obvious in church life – we clearly aren’t all Mother Theresa.

This parable reassures us that we don’t have to be perfect even as we are striving towards perfection, but we do have to display some evidence of a changed life, a different attitude that is aligned with our faith. Otherwise our faith is empty and dead. I am not sure whether I am in the 30 or 60 bracket, but at the end of the day what matters and what results is that I yield something. That’s what I have to work towards.

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