“Whit, if you could go anywhere in your mind to find peace, where would you go and what would you picture?” Good question. I’d go to our family farm in South Carolina, right as the sun is approaching the tree line; and I’d stand in the upper field above the house, kneel down and watch the sun glisten on the particles of the broom straw (like the picture below; although this picture was taken at Elachee Nature Center). The wind touches down in a quick sweep before rising back up to hit the tops of the pines. It’s an awesome sight (and feeling).
16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” 18 So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people. —Luke 3
I picture the broom straw when I read this text. I think of the peace it brings and it makes me want to be a peace-bringer. I don’t want to be left-overs for people (chaff). Jesus is gathering the good stuff into the barn, the stuff he can use. I want to be useful and I want that usefulness to serve a purpose far beyond myself. It’s the only way to truly be happy.
The good news that came from John and Jesus is still good news because you still have a chance to be wheat. The challenge is to open up your soil for planting; to open up your skies for light and watering; to open up your heart for Jesus.
God wants to use you, ya know? He wants to gather you up and take you to that safe place. Fulfill your role in this life. Leave the chaff behind. Be a peace-bringer.