Glenn Colley is NOT the Little Red Hen. He IS the one who does not particularly like the picking part of the blueberry experience, while he is all about the tasting part of it. Seriously. How many of the mornings did he accompany me out there to those bushes with his basket? Not a single morning. How many pints of those I put in the freezer for winter pies did he pick? Not one. How many bags did he pick for those sisters who love to make cobblers? Ummm…still zero.
“Who will help me pick the berries?” said the Little Red Hen. “Not I,” said the brown cow.
But it was Sunday morning and I was getting ready for church when Glenn walked in my bathroom and here’s the gist of the ensuing conversation:
Glenn: “So who are those blueberries for?”
Me: “Well, I thought I would take some to Mrs. Dorothy and I need to take some to Peggy, and I thought maybe Jennifer, too.”
Glenn: “Well, you know…there are a few people I’ve been thinking of that we should share them with.” (He starts listing his ideas.)
Me: “Wait a minute, now. Have you been picking berries?”
Glenn: “Well, I reckon I have!”
Me: “Oh really? You have?”
Glenn: “Now Cindy, have you not seen any of those berries I picked? Further, haven’t you seen me out there picking, because I HAVE been out there picking…”
Me: “No, I do not believe I have seen any berries you have picked, but I do seem to recall seeing you a couple of times out there, albeit without even as much as a basket.”
Glenn: “Do you know why you have seen me out there without as much as a basket and why you have not seen the berries I have picked?”
Me: “Because every berry you have picked has gone straight from the bush into your mouth? Could that be the reason?”
Glenn: “That’s the reason, exactly! That’s what I’m talking about. Now you should not be saying that I have not been picking berries, because that is simply not true.”
Now, while the above conversation was all in fun, lots of Christians have the same attitude about the spiritual harvest and it’s not so funny.
Have you ever known someone who who seemed to be very scarce when the work was being done, but yet had all kinds of criticisms for those who were doing it and for how it was being done? Judas did this in John twelve when he came down on Mary for anointing Jesus with the precious ointment. He acted as if he was all about giving something to the poor, but the text goes on to say that he actually touted his plan, not because he cared for the poor, but because he “held the bag.” His “berries” were going straight into his mouth.
Have you ever known someone who showed up for all the services (he WAS out there at the berry bushes), but seemed to have a great (and very distracted) time throughout the services–writing notes, texting and visiting with the other teens on the back row? What motivated his coming to services? Did he come out of a pure heart’s desire to honor God or were all of his “berries” going straight into his own mouth?
Do I spend time in prayer telling God what I want and letting Him know I will be patient while He gives it to me? James describes the man who views God as the genie in a bottle who is there for hearing and granting wishes. Hear him in James 1:3:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
So, back to the Little Red Hen:
“Who will help me plant the seed?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the pig.
“Who will help Me water the seed?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the horse.
“Who will help me gather the crop?” said the Little Red Hen? “Not I,” said the brown cow.
“Then I will do it myself,” said the Little Red Hen…and so she did.
But as always there came a day of enjoying the fruits of the labor:
“Who will help me eat the fruit?” said the Little Red Hen.
“I will!” said the pig.
“I will!” said the horse.
“I will!” said the brown cow.
“Oh no!” said the Little Red Hen. “I planted the seed, I watered the seed, I gathered the fruit and I will eat the fruit.” And so she did.
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry… ( I Corinthians 3:8,9)
Let’s get busy at the spiritual bushes remembering the sweet and eternal reward that comes “according to his own labor.”