Yesterday my grandson was over. He brought a stack of books for us to look at together. I ignored the Star Wars books, and instead chose a large rather comprehensive nature book with him. It really was quite advanced, going into depth about the different taxonomic ranks: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species.
I always like to ask my grandchildren questions which make them think. Mikah likes facts. . . facts are comfortable. . . there is security in facts, but facts in of themselves are useless.
If thoughts are sentences, then facts might be seen as the nouns. Nouns alone without verbs, adverbs, adjectives, articles, and prepositions do not convey much information. A toddler begins with nouns. . . mama. . . papa. . .cookie. . .dog. . . water. . .
A young learner loves facts and he is proud when asked to demonstrate his mastery of learning by reciting facts. . . Papa likes to derail that train by asking questions that don’t have easy answers, and therefore often aren’t in the book.
I asked Mikah, what does it mean to say that something is alive? Is a rock alive?. . . a cloud? A river? How do you tell the difference between something alive and something not alive.
The dictionary I consulted said of ‘living’: having life; being alive; not dead:
But that is a tautology. . . a circular argument or definition. . . using the word to define itself. It really does not help us to determine what is alive, and what is not.
It’s a question I asked my grandson, but to which, I had no ready answer. It was a spontaneous discussion. We thought of examples of things which were alive, and things which were not. . . We recited facts as symptoms or maybe clues to the finding of the underlying truth. . . tried to flush out the sentence of this thought and connect the nouns of facts with a verb and article or two of our simple composition.
It came to me, as an inspiration in our discussion, that the one thing which universally differentiates the animate, from the inanimate is that the living always reproduce, and the nonliving never do.
. . . and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind. . .and herb yielding seed after his kind. . .the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after its kind. . . And God said, let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind. . .
God created the universe. . . He created life, and He defined it by its bringing forth after its own kind. Life begets life. . . Non-life begets nothing. . .
So many levels to think on about this. . .This is cause for lengthy meditation, well beyond this small article. . .for all of the wonder and majesty of the observed universe, nothing we know of. . . nothing we can see reproduces. . . but that which God spoke into existence and defined on the first page of the book of Genesis.
A rock may break into two, but it cannot yield fruit after its own kind. . . after its own kind. . . after its own kind. . .
Are you alive or are you dead? Are you reproducing or are you sterile?. . . Are you sharing your faith?. . . are you witnessing?. . . are you testifying of the greatness of God? Or are you merely occupying a pew?
To reproduce is all about sacrifice. The tree forms buds and then blooms. . . It is pollinated, finally at great expense to the tree, it sets fruit. Great amounts of energy go into the creation of the seed, and the setting of the fruit. . . none of which does the tree itself any good. The fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, is not about the tree, but about the next generation of trees. Bearing fruit is about seeds finding new ground, to begin new life. . . . Bearing fruit is not about the bearer of the fruit. . .
The same applies to bearing children. . . whether we speak of physical or spiritual children. Good parenting is about sacrifice for your children. . . sacrifice of time. . .sacrifice of labor. . . sacrifice of love. . . and tears. . . emotional energy. . . physical energy. . . in the end. . . sacrifice of self. . .
Jesus had no children in the physical, but He invested heavily in the teaching of His disciples, casting fruit for the next spiritual generation. He sacrificed. . .gave the ultimate sacrifice for His children The Bible tells us that God is a Spirit, and Jesus yielded Spiritual fruit after His own kind. . .
A life without reproduction, is a wasted life. . . a selfish, hedonistic, corruption of life’s purpose. All life is dependent on the energy of light to survive. The dead are entombed in the darkness. . . The light is invisible to the dead for the dead are blind. The living require warmth. . . the dead require nothing. . .
I am a child of God. Therefore being created in His image, and having His Spirit within me, I am alive. It therefore must be my passion. . . my life. . . the sacrificial mission of my life, to bear a heavy crop of fruit, and bring to life. . . pass the Pneuma. . .the breath. . .the Spirit of God, and the Kingdom of God to a new generation. . .
I thank you my God for those who Lived before me. . .
I thank you for those who bore fruit that I might find sustenance, and Life of my own. . .
I thank you for my wife. . . for Butch, and Helen. . . Brother Studt. . . Pastor Carroll. . . my 4th grade teacher, Mr. King. . .my Grandpa Stokely. . . and others equally significant, but unknown, or unremembered who prayed for me. . . who planted seeds within me which eventually sprouted and gave me Life. . .
I thank you my God. . .
I love you my God. . .