Seems like every year about this time we see the same story: “World’s Largest Pumpkin Discovered.” This year’s giant gourd comes out of New Richmond, Wisconsin. “Weighing 1,810.5 pounds, Guinness World Records has confirmed that Chris Steven’s pumpkin (pictured right) is the world’s heaviest, beating the previous record, a 1,725-pound pumpkin grown last year in Ohio. Stevens’ pumpkin has a circumference of 186.5 inches, or more than 15 feet. He said… his secret is a precise mixture of sunshine, rain, cow manure, fish emulsion and seaweed.” (The Associated Press, 10/21/10)
How is it that some have a green thumb… and others are like… well… me? People that do well cover the essentials well… and are concerned about the growth of their garden. The proper portion of Water, the correct amount of Light, and the right Fertilizer can make all the difference. You can always sprinkle on some of that “Miracle Grow” stuff.. the plant food with an ad usually featuring a picture of a guy with a two hundred pound turnip in a wheelbarrel.
Picture for yourselves this morning, in your mind, the face of someone you believe to be spiritually grown up. They have a bumper crop of endurance… wisdom is ripe on their branches and ready for the picking… and their devotional life always appears to root them firmly in God. I suspect if we sat down with these individuals and asked them the right questions this morning… we would discover that their “secret” is that they give careful consideration to the essentials of spiritual growth in their daily lives. Their spiritual maturity didn’t happen by accident.
James says that one of those essentials… is patience. He implies that the phrase “impatient farmer” is an oxymoron. A farmer can do only so much to insure a good crop. He can prepare the soil, uproot weeds and spread fertilizer… but he can’t rush the process. He has to wait for the rain… wait for the plant to grow. Real growth comes from the God. James says to look to the example of Job… who endured patiently and received in the end a harvest of “compassion and mercy” from the Lord.
I hope that your spiritual walk is a prize winning endeavor. That you receive a blue ribbon at your church, in your family and around the water cooler at work. But for those of us that think we have a bit more growing to do… keep cultivating your soil and wait patiently for the rains of heaven… God in His time will cause the increase.