Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

Posts tagged ‘sowing and reaping’

Reaping the Seed Sown in Sacrifice (Song reflection on “Alla Vill Till Himmelen Men Ingen Vill Dö”)

For a few weeks, I’m re-enjoying Swedish music. One is that I’ve enjoyed its language (although I’ve forgotten most of it already). Another is that I’ve discovered new songs from my fave Iranian-born Swedish artist, Laleh.

She’s not your usual pop-rock artist as she echoes depthness and reality. Unlike most modern artist who sings about relationships or materialism, some of her songs are facets of some of life’s realities, without making them mundane or morbid to the listener. Example are her songs “Invicible” and “Some Die Young”.

Her version of “Alla Vill Till Himmelen Men Ingen Vill Dö” is a breakout from its original dance upbeat version by the Swedish rapper Timbuktu. Although not her original, I love how she strummed it with her usual rock-acoustic rhytym. Of course, I wouldn’t listen to it without knowing what it means. And for once again, I’m fascinated with the reality of its verses.

Here’s the main refrain of this song:

Alla vill till himmelen men få vill ju dö
Man vill kamma in vinningen, men sår inga frön
Alla vill till himmelen men få vill ju dö
Man vill kamma in vinningen, men sår inga frön

Thanks to an electronic translator and my very limited Swedish, here’s the translation:

All wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die,
Everyone wants to rake the harvest, without sowing its seed
All wants to go to heaven, but no one wants to die,
Everyone wants to rake the harvest, without sowing its seed

To my Swedish friends, I hope you can tell me if I’m right. 🙂

I once thought that the title speaks of mortality alone, in which her song “Some Die Young” followed it. When I checked the rest of the lyrics, somehow, it actually spoke of the reality of man’s selfishness. The rest of the song echoes how human beings want to grab whatever they want, without wanting to sacrifice or give up anything to achieve their goals. To think that everyone wants to be in heaven without dying sounds funny, but it is actually a sad truth that only a few realizes.

What I’ve captured here is the idea of sowing and reaping. In science, in every action there’s always an opposite and equal reaction. A soccer ball can’t go to the goal unless you start kicking it around to bring it there. Everything has kinetic energy, but can never be released unless you do it by moving it around.

Of course, what will you harvest if nothing is sowed into the field? The Bible speaks that you will reap whatever you sow. To know what to sow and for what you are sowing for, one must realize that decisions should always be carefully made. Unwise decisions can create huge disasters, especially if the motive is for selfish gain.

Just lately, huge investment and pyramid scams made the headlines. Due to offers of multiplied kickbacks without doing much (and more perks by becoming an agent), they invested huge amounts of money into those so-called corporation.

It was shocking that some of the victims were prominent people. As I discussed this with a fellow reporter, it was evident that the idea of “easy money” and mere greediness caused them huge losses. It was also appalling to see how one’s greediness can cause one to lose the sense of wisdom, making the eyes see the end result without investigation and consultation.

We want to reap the harvest, without sacrificing right. We want abundance through easy money. We want fame without the willingness for discipline and humility. We try to reach the top without knowing the right way to reach it. There are always the terms of losses in order to get to the peak…unecessary baggages are hindrances to an end goal.

And of course, I’d never deny how I was almost trapped in that mindset. To get rich, I tried to join networking groups with products I’m not really interested in. I just liked the perks it offers. Gladly, the networking groups that I was invited into required hard work and good training before reaping that reward. In fact, there’s still sacrifice into it, and idleness is not required.

As I thought about the song, I agree how man can be so selfish and idle all along. Here’s another point to the song, a sacrifice worth keeping.

Contemplating on the idea of going to heaven without dying, I look at it in a different way. There’s another kind of death that paves the way to heaven. In fact, no one can really go to heaven unless we give up ourselves to the One who died for us.

Jesus died for you and me. When He gave His life on the cross, His death and ressurection sowed eternal life to those who are willing to reap it. His blood has become a seal of righteousness and cleansing to those who are willing to give up their own selves and exchanging their selfishness to a relationship with Him. In such a sowing, I believe this one with the most wonderful offer. We can never get into covenant with the true Covenant Maker if we don’t break our covenant with the world that had infilled us with selfishness from the beginning. As the world teaches us to gain without giving into discipline, righteousness, and selflessness, Jesus teaches us to die to our old sinful nature, more so give up negative baggages that hinder us from getting the inheritance that He has set for us from the beginning. Just like the eternal life that He promised to those who accepts Him as Lord and Savior.

In my walk with the Lord, I must admit, it’s not easy to die to myself. Until now, I’m battling with my selfishness and pride. But in order to live a fulfilling life in Him, I must give up the baggages that hinder the prize Himself. Jesus is my prize. His love is worth than millions of kisses. Actually, heaven is just a perk in this. But it is Jesus Himself who’s worth it all.

So going to heaven does not only require dying physically. So does getting the abundance and the inheritance the Lord has set for us. To die for one’s self is hard, but when we do, it’s worth the freedom and the joy that comes from Him.

A Time to Share

It’s natural for us to love receiving. A lot of people, especially kids, await Christmastime because of the gifts we would be receiving. It’s a really a blessing to receive a lot. But actually, it is more blessed to give (Prov. 22:9).

In my first year in the media industry, I’m so blessed to receive a lot from a lot of people. From make-up kits to seedlings, and even winning a new pseudo-SLR – that’s a lot of blessings. These are gifts and blessings that I did not ask for and yet the Lord opened up His storehouse for me. How good and generous is my Father. But here’s one overflowing gift I’ve received of this season: sackloads of rice.

One of them I won from a raffle in a Christmas party and the other smaller package was a gift from big people in my beat. That was not meant to bribe, since it’s a tradition that these people should give. I had a hard time planning and bringing it home, as I had it carried from our service car to another car and then to my big brother’s tricycle back to our house (and it took a couple of weeks before it got to our house). Looking at the weight and quantity of the rice I brought, my mom and I thought it was too much for us. And yet, we did not hesitate to give so much of it away.

The small bag was our share (and it was overflowing on our table haha). As for the bigger sack, half of it went to my big bro. As for the other half, my mom had an idea. It was through this that I saw her heart for giving.

For a long time, my mom dreamed of sharing a lot to other people. We are not a rich family and yet in whatever she would receive, she would share it to me, to her grandchildren, her family, and even to friends. Whenever we would have shortage in our resources, she would be saddened, not because she had not enough for herself, but she had nothing to give to others. She shared to me just this morning that giving rice to our neighbors was one of her prayers. Oh, blessed be my generous mom!

Rice, candies, other goods, these are just simple gifts for the needy. But we wanted them to receive food for their hungry souls

I loved the idea of sharing what we have to our neighbors. But my mom had seven families in her heart to whom she wanted to share. Three would be from my Kuya’s apartment. The other four would be from outside.

We had parted the remaining rice into seven parts. I believe each had one to two kilos. Along with each pack is a bag of candies for the children and a canned good. But material gifts is not what she really wanted to give out. She had another thing in mind. And I almost cried when we put them into the bags.

There were gospel tracks. Yes, the ones given out with God’s salvation message inside. As there were no Christmas gospel tracks in the Christian bookstores in the nearest mall, she had her own copied xeroxed. She would admit that she is not as bold as any preacher to speak out with words of fire on the salvation message. Yet, it is her heart’s desire to see our neighbors surrendering their lives to Jesus.

My oh my…how generous is my mother indeed. Lord, bless her dear heart.

A gospel track that my mom had readied for this day. In it is a timeless message that feeds your soul.

We prayed for the bags and then set out on dark. As a natural reaction, the neighbors were grateful. But I prayed that they would take time to read the track and that the Holy Spirit will move into their hearts.

I do not write this to brag how generous we are. Actually, it was my mom who was the more generous one between us. I was just so blessed to see her heart for our neighbors that I wanted to share to others. When I saw the tracks for the first time, I felt guilty. What she did seemed small, and yet the Lord saw her big love to the unsaved. I believe she had reaped a lot in heaven for she had sown so much for His Kingdom. I did not even had the heart to do such a thing, even though my effort might seem so small. What is the quantity of our efforts if we had enormous sincerity and passion for the reason we do it? Truly, the Lord rewards these passionate people in unexpected ways, and somehow, I could sense that my mother will be blessed enormously.

In our culture today, we view Christmas as a time to receive and receive. Families would go out on the 25th to do the modern tradition of “namamasko”, going from house to house expecting to be given gifts. But my mom taught me that we should reverse that and instead, we should go from house to house to give not only gifts but also Jesus’ pure, unrelenting love. What we did yesterday was just a glimpse on how big and genuine is my mother’s heart to share.

May many see God’s great love through the birth of His dear Son on earth. May the whole world feel the Father’s love when His Son died on the cross for all of us. May the Lord bless people just like my mom who wanted the world to see His love through giving. And may the young generation like me become generous just like my mom. It is indeed more blessed to share. We cannot keep what we receive to ourselves or we’ll receive no more.

I’m sure there are other “secret santas” out there who anonymously give what they have out of love. May you be blessed abundantly! Merry Christmas to all and may the heavens pour out on everyone! 🙂

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