If you want corn, you know what to plant. If you want apples, you know what to plant. It’s how things work.
The thing is, it’s not just plants that work that way.
Maybe you call it karma. My grandfather liked to say that “it all comes back by return mail.” St. Paul said “as ye sow, so shall ye also reap.”
Whatever you call it, it’s how life works.
And it’s why St. Paul tells us that our duty as Christians is to “encourage one another and build each other up.”
When you really put the effort in to do something well. Or to make something to the best of your ability.
You know how great it feels when someone tells you how impressed they are with it. It only took them a moment. But you feel 10 feet tall.
When you get hit with bad news. Or something goes horribly wrong. Or maybe you’re just having a having a bad day.
You know what a blessing it is for someone to have a kind word for you. It may seem like the smallest thing to them. But to you it means the world.
If you and I want to live where that happens. Where encouragement is the norm. Where support comes when needed. Then we need to be the ones who start it.
So how do you start it? By grounding yourself in gratitude, gratitude to God for all that God has done for you.
Do it by thanking God for each thing that God has given to you. List out each thing. Start small, and thank God for each one. You won’t be able to do it for more than a minute or two before God will change your whole perspective.
If you keep it up, you will find that – even in the middle of life’s hardest things, death, illness, divorce, job loss – God will ground you in this quiet joy. A joy that overflows. A joy you cannot contain.
That is what you start with. That is where the support and encouragement that you can give will come from, the joy that comes from grounding yourself in gratitude for all that God has done for you.
That is what you plant. And it will change the world.