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Daily Devotional for January 19


January 19                                                           Mark 4:21-34

A man who had a weak heart inherited a billion dollars. His
family was afraid that the good news would precipitate a heart
attack, so they asked the priest to tell him the good news. The
priest visited the man and tactfully asked him what he would
do if someone gave him a billion dollars. When the man said
he would give half to the parish, the priest had a heart attack.

Some heart attacks today come from stress caused by overwork
in pushing too hard for material success. Others are spiritual
heart attacks caused by pushing too hard for the reign of God.[?]
It is easy to recognize material greed. Spiritual greed is more
difficult to discern, but just as dangerous.

Jesus teaches that the reign of God cannot be hurried or pushed
for any purpose - no matter how good. The reign of God
grows slowly in our lives and in our world. The reign-sower
must be patient. All processes of growth take time. A rich
harvest is not possible without waiting and hoping and trusting.

So the sower goes about living the ordinary day-to-day business
of life. And the seed, slowly but inexorably, passes through
the various stages of growth. Worry, anxiety, fear will not help
the seed grow one bit faster. Once the seed is planted, its
growth and fruitfulness are out of the sower's immediate
control. Life continues through it all.

A handful of wheat, five thousand years old, was found in an
Egyptian tomb. When planted, the grains came to life. The
power of growth is in the seed. When I have dug and planted
and watered and watched, I can patiently wait until God's
power gradually unfolds, perhaps in lives and events I had not
expected. I do not know how God works. I do know it is God's
power, not mine, that works.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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