Summary: As we move close to the beginning of a new year, let’s study our plans, our goals, our worldview to make sure they are not reeds. Let’s consider our own lives and make sure that we ourselves are not merely reeds!
CAN REEDS THRIVE WITHOUT WATER?
‘A man stopped to chat with a farmer who was erecting a new building. He asked, "What are you putting up?" The farmer replied, "Well, if I can rent it, it’s a rustic cottage. If I can’t, it’s a cow shed."’
That farmer had put some thought into his planing – he had a counter plan should the first plan not come off!
We were looking for somewhere different to buy in Toodyay. We had done the hobby farm thing there and found it to be quite demanding - Especially on top of full time employment, involvement in a brand new church, raising a young family and trying to have time for each other as a couple.
We decided to try and purchase a ‘bush retreat’ type place – where we could enjoy the land, rather than be it’s slave! There were a number of places in Toodyay that would ‘fit this bill’, so to speak.
But when it came to being close to the townsite, they were few and far between! And for various reasons, we needed to be close to town.
After keeping our eye out, and inspecting several places, we began to despair of ever finding the home of our dreams!
Then one day I passed a block of land that was on the market. It was undeveloped and close to the townsite. Decided to run in and have a look. And WOW! – although the block did not look anything extraordinary from the road – it was just magnificent! - Views toward Perth, looking down a huge valley. It had ravines all of its own, complete with a beautiful little dam nestled in amongst some of the most spectacular vegetation anywhere in the locality.
That dam was to become an oasis to us.
One day while walking on a nearby property on which the beginnings of a brook began, I came to the place where this brook wound its way across the firebreak on which I was walking. It was exquisite! - Crystal clear and flanked by little reeds. I looked at the effect the reeds gave to the water and decided to transplant some into our dam.
They survived until we entered a period of drought. The dam dried up and so did the reeds!
I have called this message, ‘Can Reeds Thrive Without Water?’ And those words are taken from a passage in Scripture, which I will now ask Sharayah to read to us. Thanks Sharayah.
JOB 8:11-19 (NIV)
My text this morning is verse 11, ‘Can papyrus grow tall where there is no marsh? Can reeds thrive without water?’
The answer is obvious. No!, reeds cannot thrive without water. I mean we just heard a story about how they shrivel up and die as soon as the water level drops. The reed by nature lives in water. In fact the author of this passage of Scripture points out that reeds wither more quickly than grass. And here reeds and rushes are used to represent a certain type of person and certain desires and certain goals.
What end awaits the reed? It will wither away and seem as though it never existed! (see verse 19). The reed ends up being destroyed. Could this happen to our plans? Could this in fact happen to us!?
Are you in the habit of making New Years Resolutions? Here’s one I found on the net, ‘With working a stressful, full-time-plus job and planning my wedding in February, I don’t have time to make a resolution. Maybe that should be my resolution … to make time to make a resolution.’
You know, as we move close to the beginning of a new year, let’s study our plans, our goals, our worldview to make sure they are not reeds. Let’s consider our own lives and make sure that we ourselves are not merely reeds!
Do you understand how important this is!? To move into a new year with goals that will amount to nothing, and a life that will amount to nothing, is tragic indeed! It is worse than tragic, for things of eternity are at stake! Let’s aim to be much more than reeds, and let’s make plans and goals that have substance and are worthwhile.
Regarding New Years resolutions, another person wrote, ‘I love making resolutions this time of year. But I call it setting goals. This is the time I RAP: Review, Analyse and Plan. You know, what did I do last year, how do I feel about it, what do I want to do for next year?’
To help us RAP up our year, let’s consider some characteristics of the reed. So that we can compare them with our desires - ‘My desire is this… - is it like a reed?’ So that we can scrutinise our lives - ‘My life is this… - is it like a reed?’