Allegories are usually wasted on me. I read Watership Downs in high school and thought it was a story about rabbits. In my early 20s I read a Christian allegory, I think it was Pilgrims Progress but I’m not certain. In the story the characters were on a journey to the celestial city. Each evening they would walk down to the river and some of them would put rocks in their back packs. They would purposely add to their own burden. It didn’t make sense to me or to the main character in the story. Little did I know that at the end of the journey those rocks were revealed to be prayers for other people. Sometimes we shoulder the burden for others as we walk our journey.
That idea got stuck in my head.
Yesterday I was on one of my daily walks and I have a plan to beautify the path I walk. I have some flower seeds that I plan to plant along the way. They are wild flowers so they won’t require water. I envisioned myself like Johnny Appleseed walking down the path and tossing out the seeds from a seed pouch slung over my shoulder.
Then I remembered Jesus story about the farmer who cast his seed and the seed was the word of God. I realized that that was my real mission in life, to spread Gods word.
But I knew that wasn’t all of it. Gods word needs to be shared in context or it doesn’t make sense. The context needs to be in an actively loving and forgiving and serving life. So I boiled that down to grace and mercy, AKA, forgiveness. That’s how I arrived at what I shared below here. I hope it makes sense.
I could see myself on life’s journey with 3 bags over my shoulders. Each bag carrying an essential element to the Christian life.
3 bags. Seed, salve and supplication.
As Christians We each start out the day with 3 bags over our shoulder.
Each morning two are full and one is empty.
Salve: One full one is forgiveness. Our job is to Empty it. His mercies are new every morning. We are forgiven our sins as long as we forgive the sins of others.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
Seed: One full one is Gods word, we are to share it.
“But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”’
This bag we can fill up ourselves. The Holy Spirit can bring seed to us but as we mature we will become more actively involved in filling our own bag. If we don’t become active we won’t mature.
“12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!”
Supplication: The empty one we are to fill. It is for the needs and concerns of others. We fill it while walking through life meeting people and asking the age old question; how can I pray for you?
We empty it each night as we pray. ( or throughout the day), for our needs and the needs of others.
The Holy Spirit can at any time fill these bags. He kinda has a mind to do that. He will Give us extra forgiveness, give us the perfect seed to plant in someone’s heart, show us a need that only God can meet in some ones life. We may wake up in the middle of the night with a burden that we couldn’t know on our own.
As a followers of Jesus our lives can be different than those around us and we can have an attractive quality about us. We will be full of God’s mercy and grace. We will know God’s word and be applying it to our lives and be able to share it, not as a weapon but as a tool of mercy and grace, a splint for brokenness or a bandage for woundedness or a light for those in darkness, a cup of cold water for the thirsty, and our lives can be lived out, caring about the needs of others, sharing their burdens by praying with them and for them.
It’s a morning, a new day, i have 3 bags. 2 full and one empty. What will I do with them?