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Productivity immeasurable

And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. ……. And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1: 11-25

There’s no doubt about it. Things in Jersey do multiply. One of my earliest recollections is of mounds of rotting tomatoes dumped at Les Platons on the north coast in the nineteen fifties: there had been so much multiplication (combined with marketing difficulties) that no one could possibly eat what the ground – the dirt – had produced.

As for potatoes..... How many under one stalk? How many new potatoes for every single potato put into the ground to die? Taking this a step further how many potatoes will come from one single potato if one counts not only the potatoes under each stalk this year but also the potatoes we receive if we plant one of those new ones next year – and so on ad infinitum?

Someone has rightly said: “you may be able to tell me how many acorns are on an oak tree, but no one can say how many oak trees there are in an acorn.....

Then there’s the livestock. In all our herds of cattle, how many babies does a cow have during its lifetime – on average? How many calves are born so as to supply our milk and our meat? Putting this another way: how many cows are there in a cow? An immeasurable number? And how many horses in a horse?
‘If it were not that ingratitude had blinded our eyes, every birth would fill us with amazement.’ (John Calvin, French pastor, 1509-1564)

How many eggs does a fowl lay on average – during its lifetime? Assuming some of these eggs are hatched out, how many eggs are there in one chicken?

By way of contrast, how many Skoda Yetis are there in a Skoda Yeti? Only one? Try as he will by parking it overnight next to another, Skoda Yeti owners in Jersey don’t pick up several baby-Yetis nine months later. There’s no multiplication even when a Skoda is parked next to a Ferrari.....

All this multiplication about which we have done nothing – and can do nothing. We haven’t been able to fabricate anything like “it” (this multiplication of reproductive life) unless we use a “living” piece of “it”.

It’s come about because: And God said.

God said: And it was so.

And God saw that it was good.

Maybe a serious question arises in your mind. What’s gone wrong? What about potato blight and colarado beetle? What about mastitis and foot and mouth? What about bird flu?

Yes, what has gone wrong? And can it ever be put right?

Jesus speaking to Andrew and Philip a few hours before his cross: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.”

‘The great use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it.’  (William James, American philosopher, 1842-1910)

The hour of greatest productivity (immeasurable productivity) for Jesus was the hour when he gave himself to die – for his enemies.

Final thoughts. Would it be sensible to devote our lives to Ferraris or Yetis? What about devoting our loves to potatoes or horses? To living things? Or to the source of all life?
Richard Syvret

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