There is something amazing about this law that will make your fields explode with harvest. When you give and focus on the giving rather than the receiving, the sowing rather than the reaping, the harvest inevitably bursts into something greater and more uncontainable than you could ever have planned.
Instead of planting with visions of cramming it all into your storehouse and guarding it with your lives, plant with a desire to keep what you can use and give the rest away.
There used to be a Disney cartoon called “Duck Tales” that was on when I was growing up. It was about a family of ducks, somehow related to Donald Duck, and there was one particular duck called Scrooge McDuck. He’s a rich miser, wealthy beyond all reason, and he has a vault that contains all his treasures that he occasionally dives into and swims around in. He used to get a mouthful of coins and spit them out like they were water. It seemed like so much fun!
Now that I’m grown up, I realize that it would hurt really bad to dive into a pile of gold and crowns and bullion (that’s a great word), and those coins would taste really bad.
I mention that, because I think most of us have some sort of similar picture in our heads. If we won the lottery, we’d fill our living rooms with hundred dollar bills and roll around in them. If we found buried pirate treasure, we’d stumble around with giant jewel encrusted crowns on our heads drinking from some golden goblet.
And I think in many cases, that’s how we approach our giving. That’s how we sow. We’re looking past the good and right reasons for sowing because all we want to see is how much harvest we’re going to be able to cram into our barns and storehouses. We fail to see the joy the harvest will bring to a needy family. We miss the fact that our grain could have been the very grain that was supposed to be used to plant bigger and more fruitful fields. And so our grain goes into the storehouses where it simply rots.
We have all been given the seeds of brilliance to sow in the rich soil of today. Our seed is our own and will never be duplicated. And it must be sown. I am convinced that each person is a Da Vinci or a Beethoven, and that person is screaming to get out of us.
Imagine if Beethoven, knowing that he had all this good musical seed, decided to become a real estate agent instead. Or what if Shakespeare put down his pen and took a middle management position as an associate assistant to the vice president of senior consulting and marketing in the communications and linguistics department of that new high-tech company down in the business park?
We’d be robbed. They had powerful seeds, and they sowed them.
So many people lead lives of frustration and barrenness because they are trying to sow someone else’s seed. Or they aren’t sowing at all. The Law of Reciprocity is always at work, and the sooner we begin to recognize the seed we have been given, the location in which we’ve been placed, and the cycle of nature that we’re in, the sooner we’ll begin to see the harvest and returning.
Type in the words “home based business” into a search engine, and you’ll see thousands and thousands of pages come up, each one promising to make you the next internet millionaire. You’ll see the same sales letter telling you how they went from broke to a millionaire in three months.
They will be sitting in an expensive car in the driveway of a mansion with their arms outstretched and a giant smile on their faces They will show you their “secret autopilot” system that claims you don’t have to do anything to make five figures a day. They will tell you that you can work a few hours a week in your underwear and make CEO level pay.
And lots and lots of people believe this. For some of these people, this is a reality. They have put in the time and effort and have achieved that level of success and prosperity, have developed a system that works for them, sown their own seeds, and are reaping fantastic harvests.
I really respect those people. I’ve met many of them, and they are genuinely good people who have worked really hard. They like to make money, but they really are excited about helping other people break out of the confines of the traditional job and live a life that is about freedom and prosperity.
The hard part to watch is that millions of people buy a dream rather than a business. They see the harvest that other people are reaping and are convinced that they can reap that same exact harvest. And some people do because they have been given similar seeds.
Yet the statistics say that about 97% of the people who start a home-based business fold within 3-5 years. Why is that? Are they not good enough? Are they lazy?
Some, yes. But a good portion of these people have just begun to plant and toil in the wrong field with the wrong seed at the wrong time. Or they are in the right field with the right seed at the wrong time. Or they…you get the picture.
So the Law of Reciprocity begins with sowing and giving. And not just randomly, but with purpose, passion, authenticity, and seed that is as unique and individual as the one who is sowing.
Then what? We’ve got the process started. We’ve engaged the law. We’re authentic and passionate about something. We’ve got the seed.
Then comes the toiling.
This is the hardest part, the part where most people give up. They may have their seed, their field, and their vision of the harvest dancing in the back of their mind, but when they get out into the rain and the cold and the heat to begin breaking up the ground, they quit. They faint.
I’ve done this a million times.
Buried within this Law of Reciprocity is a principle that we just can’t get away from: you have to reach high for the best things in life.
It is in the toiling process that something gets solidified inside of us. It’s on these proving grounds, when we are digging and our back aches and we have heat exhaustion that we come to the place where we ask ourselves if it’s really worth it. And sadly, most of us decide that it’s not. So we quit digging. We make excuses. We procrastinate, and the seed dries up. We miss the prime growing season and have to wait until next year.
There is a verse in the Bible that sounds really good, but actually is a very strict challenge. This verse is Matthew 7:7-8. It says “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be open to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
Sounds great, doesn’t it?
This passage was originally written in an ancient form of the Greek language. The way this was written is literally translated something very similar to this: “ask, and keep on asking; seek, and keep on seeking; knock, and keep on knocking.”
“The Greek present tense emphasizes continuous action: Jesus was not saying knock once and stop, but keep on knocking until the door is opened.
God, in His wonderful wisdom, has built the world in such a fashion that only those who are diligent and who persevere win the highest prizes. The person who is determined to achieve his God given goal, despite all obstacles, will wind up a winner. Those who are fainthearted and faltering, whose minds are not made up about something, will always lose.
God makes us reach high for the better things. Only a few will strive hard enough to win them. Those who keep going in spite of problems, pain, and difficulty will eventually overcome them…In whatever task God places you, do not quit, but stay the course.”**
The toiling process involves intense action, both physical and spiritual. This continual process of asking, seeking, and knocking activates something in the soil we are tilling. It injects supernatural vitamins into the ground, nutrients that in some mysterious way strengthen the roots and forever unite us to this harvest. Our very life and identity go into it, and as we grow and persevere, so does the harvest.
It is in the time of toiling and breaking up the ground that the kind of harvest we will reap will really be decided.
The toiling becomes a reflection of our self.
If we are lazy, we only break up a small piece of the ground.
If we are determined, the ground will be deep and wide and fresh.
If we are in doubt, we’ll give up.
If we really want it, we’ll keep going at all costs.
No matter if it is hot or cold, day or night, raining or shining.
This brings me to Forrest Gump…
To see more writing like this, check out my book, The Human Code
**Spirit Filled Life Bible p. 2009