Monday, August 9

Natural Consequences

If clouds are full of water, they pour rain upon the earth. Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north, in the place where it falls, there will it lie. --Ecclesiastes 11:3

Although I don't adhere to the Buddhist doctrine of karma, I do believe that a person's actions, whether moral or immoral, will have a series of natural consequences. In other words, I am inclined to agree with the old sayings "you reap what you sow", and "you are what you eat".

I find it interesting that Solomon used some examples from nature to illustrate this point. He lays out a clear "if, then" statement, giving no account of the middle ground that occurs between the cause and the consequence. This made me stop and think about the way that things occur in my life.

Certainly my life has the "clouds full of water" and the "falling tree" scenarios. I think of those as the actions we carry out in the day to day choices we make. Let me give a non-moral example. Suppose my alarm rings at 6:00 a.m. My choice is then to either wake up right then, or hit the snooze button. If I get up then, I will then have a decent length of time before I have to leave for work. If I hit the snooze, I will have have cut my getting ready time down by 9 minutes. This same type of cause and consequence thinking can be applied to our spiritual lives.

We make choices that undeniably have an effect on how we become aware of God's presence in our lives. If we make ourselves available to Him by going to church, spending time in fellowship, and spending personal time with Him in prayer, than a natural consequence is that we will have a deeper relationship with our Creator. Conversely, if we remain closed off, don't interact with other Christians and never open our hearts in conversation with God, then the natural consequence is that we will miss out on a lot of wonderful growth experiences.

The choices are ours to make, but the outcomes, the ways and the means, lie in our Maker's hands.

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