William McKinley served in Congress before he was elected the 25th President of the United States. On his way to his congressional office one morning, he boarded a streetcar and took the only remaining seat. Minutes later, a woman who appeared to be ill boarded the car. Unable to find a seat, she clutched an overhead strap next to one of McKinley’s colleagues. The other congressman hid behind his newspaper and did not offer the woman his seat. McKinley walked up the aisle, tapped the woman on the shoulder, offered her his seat, and took her place in the aisle.
Years later when McKinley was President, this same congressman was recommended to him for a post as ambassador to a foreign nation. McKinley refused to appoint him. He feared a man who didn’t have the courtesy to offer his seat to a sick woman in a crowded streetcar would lack the courtesy and sensitivity necessary to be an ambassador in a troubled nation. The disappointed congressman bemoaned his fate to many in Washington but never did learn why McKinley chose someone else for the position.
Galations 6:7 cautions us: Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. In other words, actions have consequences. Charles Stanley put it this way: “We cannot sow crabgrass and expect to reap pineapples.”
In the 1970’s my husband was playing winter ball in the Dominican Republic. The manager of the team was Tommy Lasorda, the then-manager of the Los Angeles’ Dodgers. One evening at dinner he shared that when he was twelve years old, he attended a baseball game, but before it started, he approached a player and asked for an autograph. Cursing at Tommy, the player told him to buzz off. One decade later when Lasorda was pitching in the minor leagues, he faced that same major leaguer who was in AAA on a rehabilitation assignment. Lasorda threw at his head. Everyone knew it was intentional. Later when the player asked Lasorda what he had done to deserve that, Tommy answered, “You should know,” and walked away.
Actions have consequences. We over-eat and health issues arise. We spoil our kids and end up with…well, spoiled adults. We think only of ourselves and end up friendless. We drink and drive and someone dies. We do drugs and our family suffers. We love money (or anything, for that matter) more than God and judgment day won’t be pretty.
Unfortunately, some people don’t learn from their mistakes. They live by the philosophy that they can sow wild oats all week and then go to church on Sunday morning and pray for a crop increase. Galations 6:8 addresses the seriousness of the issue. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. The laws of the harvest cannot be mocked. Our hearts need to be fertile ground for planting seeds and not weeds. The choice is ours. Which shall it be?