Thursday, January 30, 2014

the grain and the chaff

I have been thinking recently about what it will mean to leave our life of relative seclusion from popular culture and mass media. My fear, however unfounded, is that our children will be whisked away in a cloud of busyness and negative cultural influences. And possibly that we will be too. My reflections have persistently led me back to an experience we had when spending a week a with our friends the Momozas in 2008.

One day they said that they were preparing for us umngqusho--the oft-eaten combination of samp (dry white corn) and beans. Our hosts first took dry white mielies and pounded them. They then went outside and repeatedly poured the split kernels from a bucket to a basket. As they poured, the little fluffy pieces which are not desirable for eating, blew off in the wind. The larger luscious kernels fell safely into the basket.

I finally understood the biblical references to grain and chaff. It is not hard to blow off the chaff - it is light and has no substance, it is grounded to nothing. The good grains are strong and full of heft.

And so it is for those who are "rooted and grounded in love" (Ephesians 3:17). They cannot be blown or whisked away.

"Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away" (Psalm 1:1-4).


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