A planted kernel
I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me. (John 12:24-26)
Unless the kernel dies, there is no harvest. This is a principle farmers know quite well. A principle is a 'rule of action' that basically indicates when one condition is met, the other condition is met, as well. We might think we can bypass some of God's principles as we navigate through life, but you can trust me on this one - I have never observed one person being able to accomplish all that God desires for their life when they spend their time bypassing his principles!
Loss is something many of us almost fear. We might even 'pre-regret' that loss, because we anticipate the loss being so significant that we begin to bemoan that loss even before we experience it. When the thing we lose is replaced with something of even greater value, do we regret losing the original? Not hardly! In fact, we wished we lost it sooner! If the thing we 'lay down' is replaced with something that is flawed, kind of troublesome, and maybe even 'broken down', we might just desire to 'pick up' something that is perfect, new, and without flaw.
Lay down your imperfect life and take up his perfection. This is the principle being taught here - the 'kernel' of our life needs to be laid down - given in service to him. In so doing, we see the impact of that life of service. It is not a principle we understand well, for in this world seldom do we 'give away' something only to find we get something better in return. What do we love more - this world or God's presence? If we are a little too comfortable with the 'imperfection' of this world, we might feel entering into all the God has for us is a bit 'onerous'.
It is like experiencing death - but never forget - death brings life! We cannot experience resurrection life if we never experience death - maybe not a literal death, but a death to the appeal or draw this world's offerings have for us. A kernel in the silo is of little value, but a kernel planted in good soil will produce way more than one more kernel. The pursuit of this world's things and values actually is like keeping the kernel in the silo. Laying down those pursuits and taking up the offered new life of Christ is like being planted - we are about to experience growth beyond measure. Just sayin!