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The Sower and the Reaper

One day, as the reaper went about his daily business of reaping what someone else had sown, he saw a man off in the far distance. Hoping against hope that today might be that long awaited special day, he said a silent prayer and took off running in the man's direction, dropping his sickle as he went. He never noticed that the plants were getting smaller and less mature along the way. He was too caught up in the moment and the hope that he had that today would be the day that he had waited for all his life.

After what seemed like an eternity, the reaper finally reached the man and as he caught his breath he saw for the first time what the other man had been doing all this time. He would reach into a large sack at his side and pull out what appeared to be seeds and then he would scatter them all around. He did this over and over.

“Oh thank you God,” the reaper said out loud and at this the seed scattering man stopped his seed scattering and noticed the reaper for the first time.

“Hello, are you the sower?” The reaper asked slowly, deliberately.

“Yes and it has taken you long enough, hasn't it? I've expected you for a long while now,” said the sower. “What took you so long?”

“I just now saw you for the first time. How could I have gotten here quicker?”

“You've always had the faith and the vision, but you have lacked the trust that God requires. Even now a question burns in your soul. Ask it and be done.”

“Very well since you insist, I will. Why sower, why do you plant here and there and not everywhere equally? Why is there a patch of fruit here and there, but not everywhere? Why can't we sow and harvest equally all over?”

“You saw me just now, but yet your eyes tell you nothing. I have always tossed the seeds far and wide. Just as much here as there. I have sown along the path and on rocky ground and among thorns and on good soil too. What you have not seen is that those along the path are often trampled on and eaten by birds and that those seeds that fell on rocky soil had no root and soon withered away and that the seeds that were tossed amongst the thorns were soon choked out by the brambles. All that you have seen is the crop that is left from the good soil.”

“Well then,” began the reaper, “why shouldn't all soil be made equally? Wouldn't that be more fair?”

“And then you would make yourself God, for that is what you are saying. You know how to make everything equal and fair and right and God doesn't. Isn't that what you are saying?”

“No, I mean, why is it like this?” The reaper pleaded now trying to understand.

“God has a reason for everything. There are reasons for every orphan, every addict, every victim, every crime and every suicide. Perhaps the reason that bad things happen is so that good things have a meaning, but only God knows and only God can know. It isn't simply beyond our understanding, if we somehow could know, it would damage creation by taking away from the glory that belongs only to God. And God forbid that that should ever happen.”

“Now come on,” continues the sower in a more somber tone, “we have work to do.

This spiritual short story written by Chris Benjamin who was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and while he has traveled extensively in the United States and abroad, he always ends up in the south where his roots are. An engineer for all his life, he one day found himself downsized and out of work. Somewhere in that financial and emotional crisis God found him and showed him that his calling was to write and he did begin to write.

His writing style or ‘voice' as some call it hearkens to the southern United States and its culture and more than anything else to the people found there. An avid observer of people wherever he has gone, Benjamin seems to relish the discovery of the little personal quirks that we all have. In fact his views on God and the world as it is, compels the reader to feel a little more human and a little more secure in their own way.

Combining his literary voice with his technical expertise in the engineering realm provides a nice twist to all his stories, which keeps the reader guessing and of course, turning the pages.

What is the Spiritual Moral / Meaning of The “Sower and the Reaper” Story?

In the intricate dance of life, one of the spiritual lessons that this story teaches us is about the concept of divine timing. The reaper, symbolizing our human desire for instant gratification and fulfillment, rushes towards the sower in anticipation of the long-awaited harvest. However, as the story unfolds, we come to understand that there is a divine order to the unfolding of events, a sacred rhythm that guides the ebb and flow of our lives. Just as seeds take time to germinate and grow, so too do our dreams and aspirations. Trusting in the divine timing of our lives requires patience, faith, and an unwavering belief that everything unfolds according to a higher plan.

Another profound spiritual lesson woven into the fabric of this story is the principle of divine providence. The sower's act of scattering seeds far and wide mirrors the boundless generosity of the universe, which continuously offers us opportunities for growth and transformation. However, not all seeds fall on fertile ground, and not all dreams come to fruition. In acknowledging the intricate balance between sowing and reaping, we come to recognize that divine providence works in mysterious ways, guiding us towards our highest good even in the face of adversity.

At its core, this story invites us to contemplate the nature of divine wisdom and the inherent mystery of God's plan. The sower's response to the reaper's question illuminates the profound truth that there are mysteries of existence that lie beyond the grasp of human comprehension. While we may yearn for clarity and understanding, the reality is that some aspects of divine wisdom are veiled from our understanding. Embracing the mystery of God's plan requires humility, surrender, and a willingness to trust in the inherent goodness of the universe, even in the midst of uncertainty.

Furthermore, the story serves as a powerful reminder of the interconnectedness of all things. Each seed scattered by the sower represents a potentiality, a spark of divine creativity waiting to be nurtured and cultivated. However, the outcome of each seed's journey is influenced by a myriad of factors, including the condition of the soil and the presence of external forces. In the same way, our lives are shaped by a complex interplay of circumstances, experiences, and choices, each contributing to the unfolding tapestry of our existence.

In essence, this story challenges us to embrace the divine paradox of creation, wherein beauty and suffering coexist in a delicate balance. Just as the sower's seeds encounter obstacles and challenges on their path to fruition, so too do we encounter trials and tribulations on our journey through life. Yet, it is through these struggles that we discover the depth of our resilience and the capacity of the human spirit to endure and transcend adversity.

Ultimately, the spiritual significance of this story lies in its invitation to embrace the divine mystery that permeates every aspect of existence. Through cultivating trust in the divine timing of our lives, surrendering to the wisdom of divine providence, and honoring the interconnectedness of all things, we awaken to the profound truth that we are but humble participants in the unfolding drama of creation. As we surrender to the divine flow of life, we open ourselves to the infinite possibilities that await us, guided by the loving hand of the Divine.

Personal Reflection Questions

Spiritual stories are an opportunity to reflect on your own life. Here are 10 questions you can use to go deeper with the teachings in this story:

  1. Reflect on a time when you felt a deep longing or anticipation for something in your life. How did that longing shape your actions and decisions? Did you find yourself caught up in the hope of a long-awaited dream, much like the reaper in the story?
  2. Consider the significance of the reaper dropping his sickle as he ran towards the man in the distance. What does this act symbolize in terms of letting go of the familiar and embracing the unknown? Have there been moments in your life when you've had to release something in order to pursue a greater calling or opportunity?
  3. Explore the theme of divine timing in the story. How does the reaper's journey reflect the concept of waiting patiently for the fruition of one's desires? Have there been times in your life when you've had to trust in the unfolding of events, even when things seemed uncertain or delayed?
  4. Contemplate the role of faith and vision in the reaper's quest to reach the sower. What insights does this story offer about the interplay between faith, trust, and divine guidance? How do you cultivate faith and vision in your own life, especially during times of uncertainty or doubt?
  5. Delve into the conversation between the reaper and the sower regarding the unequal distribution of seeds and harvests. What does this dialogue reveal about the complexities of life and the inherent mystery of divine providence? How do you make sense of the seeming disparities and injustices in the world around you?
  6. Reflect on the sower's response to the reaper's question about the fairness of soil. How does this exchange challenge our human inclination to understand and control the workings of the universe? Have there been moments when you've grappled with the limitations of human understanding and the need to surrender to divine wisdom?
  7. Consider the sower's assertion that God has a reason for everything, even in the face of suffering and adversity. How does this perspective invite us to trust in the inherent goodness of the universe, even when circumstances seem bleak or unjust? How do you reconcile the presence of suffering with your belief in a loving and compassionate Creator?
  8. Explore the idea that bad things may serve a purpose in giving meaning to the good. How does this notion resonate with your own experiences of struggle and growth? Have there been instances when adversity has ultimately led to greater understanding, resilience, or transformation in your life?
  9. Contemplate the final words of the sower, urging the reaper to focus on the task at hand. What does this message signify in terms of embracing the present moment and moving forward with purpose and determination? How do you navigate the balance between reflection and action in your own spiritual journey?
  10. Consider how the story of the reaper and the sower resonates with your own beliefs about the nature of existence and the mysteries of the divine. What insights or revelations have you gained from reflecting on this story, and how might they inform your understanding of life's purpose and meaning?

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