A seed. A hope. A promise.
That small kernel has big potential. Of course, it’s much easier to drive up to the store and buy a big, beautiful flat of flowers, yet there’s nothing quite as exciting as witnessing a green shoot spring up from the spot where you buried a seed.
Watering, weeding, waiting; while it may be much more labor intensive, planting seeds can be oh so rewarding.
In fact, it was just a couple of free seed packets, attached to a box of cookies I'd purchased at the commissary, that birthed my love of gardening many moons ago. Miraculous to me at the time, I placed those marigold and zinnia seeds in the dirt in front of our Fort Leanordwood quarters and a beautiful garden sprang up. Stout golden marigolds bordered the sidewalk, large daylilies hugged the concrete foundation and sprinkled in between – waving their happy faces all summer long - were red, pink, fushia and purple zinnias.
We were so thrilled that Stan rented a roto tiller and we started our first vegetable garden that year. Wow, fresh veggies were even more thrilling then flowers. I can still see our toddler son peeling open pea pods and popping those sweet peas in his mouth like candy.
There have been many gardens since – some successes, some failures – but every year I like to get a few seed packets to remind me that gardening is one of life's true miracles. I can’t make a flower grow any more than I can make the sun shine or the rain fall. But I can plant a seed.
And watch it grow. One year, I picked up a packet of sunflower seeds that promised they were between 4 – 5 feet tall. Seven feet later with stalks the size of bamboo, I marveled as the bees and the gold finches flitted from seed head to seed head. I couldn’t help but think of the words of the Lord comparing our faith to a mustard seed: "It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” Matthew 13:32
Faith is like a seed – it has big potential. It is a gift, we are told in Romans 12, given to each one of us. So why do we often procrastinate when it comes to growing our faith? Could it be that we’d rather drive up to a big, beautiful church rather than get our hands in the dirt? Could it be that we don’t pay attention to the ‘instruction’ on the back of the packet?
Every seed, just like every person, has the miracle inside them. Our soil and conditions will vary, but the promise remains – what will you do with it?