In the West we are full of the limitlessness of possibility. In what sector of society do we not feel entitled to growth? No matter where we look, growth is sought at any cost. Stock markets climb artificially. College students grades inflate. Credit card debt finances disposables. Sexual promiscuity leaps distant hurdles. If there is ignorance of the inevitable in our age, how much more do we need the saying, “you shall reap what you sow.”
No Tree Keeps Climbing
What is forgotten in all of this growth is that the design of growth is fruition. There is no such thing as a tree that climbs unceasingly to the sky. At a certain point the growth ends, and the growth becomes ripe. Although growth may be spectacular and rapid, there will always be a fruition, and a ripening of it. In other words, all growth has an end to it.
Wheat and Weeds
I have seen this difference between growth and ripeness in the stages of crop life. It’s always good to go back to the source of a metaphor to be reminded of what the metaphor is all about.
When the first blades of wheat break through the soil after planting, they are green and virile. Yet beside the wheat, there is another green plant, the wild oat. In the early stages, wild oats and wheat are almost indistinguishable. They both are green. They both grow. Rapidly. But later on, as growth comes to ripeness, it is clear what is wheat or weed.
The Harvest of Wicked Growth
Growth of immorality, ignorance, exploitation, and greed cannot be commended simply because there is a positive expansion in comparison to what is past. This kind of growth will come to a fruition of ripe disaster, collapse, ruin and destruction.
As the apostle Paul told the Galatians, “Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.” (Galatians 6.7). Our society is in large part deceived. We presume to mock God. But God will not be mocked. He knows that harvest-time is right around the corner. Then the wheat and the weeds will be shown for what they are. As Jesus said in his parable about harvest:
“Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13.30).