From J.B. Phillips’ book, Is God at Home?:
Every year in the harvest fields of England there are thousands of little tragedies. The victims are those charming little creatures the harvest mice.
Earlier in the year the growing corn seems to them to be the ideal place in which to settle and bring up a family. Food, shelter and building-material are there in plenty, and everything seems perfectly adapted for their needs. The forest of innumerable cornstalks is their whole world, and in it they court and play, mate and bring up their families. Their happiness seems to be complete.
Until the Harvest. For when the day comes for the owner of the field to reap his harvest, tragedy inevitably begins for the harvest-mouse. The whole world of waving corn which seemed so snug and secure, so specially designed for his comfort and nourishment, comes crashing about his ears. The field which he thought was his world never really belonged to him at all, and the fact that the growing corn was not meant for his food and shelter has, alas, not entered his tiny head.
The life of the harvest-mouse is not a bad picture of the way in which some people live in this world. They too work and play, court and get married, bring up children in the happy belief that it is their world, and that to believe in an eventual ‘harvest’ is old-fashioned and silly. Yet Jesus Christ, who claimed to be the Son of God, said quite plainly that this world is like a field that belongs to God and that it is moving inevitably towards a Harvest. You can read His words about it in Matthew 13:22-43. For this little world is not, as some imagine, a permanent thing at all. When God decides that His great Experiment has gone on long enough, He will reap the Harvest. To quote Christ’s words: “The harvest is the end of the world.”
The field mouse is deceived because for months he is left to his own devices. He never sees the owner of the field and naturally knows nothing of the coming harvest. Many people allow themselves to be deceived because God, the Owner of the world, does not put in an appearance, and for the purposes of the Experiment we call Life does not interfere with man’s power to choose. Many of them imagine that the ‘field’ belongs to man and that there is no such thing as an eventual ‘harvest.’
But if Christ really was, as He claimed to be, God, then His statement about this world being an experimental field with an inevitable harvest should surely be most seriously considered. No one could blame the little harvest-mouse for not realizing the true purpose of the cornfield or the certainty of the eventual reaping. But what are we–mice or men?
[HT: Tom Bombadil]