Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
John 12:24 (NRSV)
Can you think of a time in your life when you felt completely renewed? Renewal is not the same as refreshed and hopefully we find frequent ways to get rest and feel refreshed and ready to go about whatever we have to do. Renewal is something different. For example, a tree looks a bit withered and so we water it and see the leaves become vital and healthy again. That would be refreshment. An old tree falls in the forest, decays, turns to compost and fertilizes the growth of new trees. That would be renewal.
We expect life to have its ups and downs, highs and lows. When we experience the highs it is hard to remember what the lows were like. When we are journeying through life’s lowest moments, we might have a hard time believing better times are yet ahead. Looking at life as a series of cycles, our best moments that are in the future will be nourished by the compost of whatever dies and decays in our low points that we experience along the way. When we are in the midst of times that seem like everything is falling apart, we can remember that when a grain of wheat falls into the earth, everything it used to be falls apart. Its DNA sparks it to life so that a new thing that has never been comes to life, sprouts, takes root, and grows into something that is abundantly more than it was in its previous manifestation. The human spirit is a lot like that, which is why Jesus used it as an analogy. Connected to God’s Spirit, we are empowered to manifest this kind of renewal. New life sparks into hope inside each of us even in the midst of confusion. Trust the spark of hope..
We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.
Mark Mills, Chaplain / Director of Spirituality
Signature HealthCARE of Warren
2473 North Rd., NE
Warren, OH 44483