Today was the day for cleaning up all the left-over seeds that didn’t make it into the ground this season. There are packages of every description—from the standard glossy illustrated ones to brown paper rustic, from little wee ziplocks to yogurt containers rattling with them…
I hate this job. Not because it’s messy but because it always bogs me down in guilt and regret. After all here are all these seeds just waiting for a chance to grow up into something altogether different. How can I throw any of them out when I consider what they could become— a flourishing bunch of swiss chard or a brilliant sunflower or scores of other glorious things….But seeds get old and the truth is unless they hit the dirt they will remain as they are—alone. Jesus said something about that. Only if a seed is buried in the earth, and gives up life as it has known it (dry and sterile, but safe) will it ever find life as it was intended to be. It must be transferred from its cozy packet to the perils of the garden–soggy soil, rot and molds before it germinates and the potential ravages of creeping, crawling, slithering and flying assailants afterward. It’s a risk. But to cling to life in the seed packet is to welcome sure death. The life of a seed is short-lived. Hmm… Jesus said something about that too: “He who would save his life, the same will lose it.”
So why do I stash these little treasures? Why not toss them to the wind, scatter them in the soil, plant them somewhere, anywhere?! Because I’m afraid of losing them, of having nothing to show for my efforts. What if they don’t grow? What if they do and are devoured prematurely crushing my hopes. If I hold on to them I can yet dream of what they will become. I can gaze at their glossy packages and maintain my idle hopes of great harvests to come. But what yield have I for my stash? Planting seeds takes faith, not mere idle hopes. No risk, no garden. I can plant; I may remember to water, but it is God that makes things grow. And here at my kitchen table in the nitty gritty of seed-sorting and filing I am faced with my own want of faith—no joke. There is a certain false security in hoarding. Just ask the rich fool with the barn building strategy. Yikes. And that other fellow, the unfaithful servant who tucked his minas away in a napkin rather than risk investing them…he missed out big time! (See: Luke 12:17; 19:20) No wonder I don’t like this job. It reminds me how sparingly I have sown.
So what now? I’ll just have to build bigger boxes to store more seeds. Just kidding. This year I will relinquish some to the trash and some to the compost in hopes they’ll either sprout or feed the worms.
And I’ll repent of my miserly hoarding in the face of a gracious God’s provision…And I’ll trust Him for the right harvest, that comes with sowing the seeds He provides!
And while I’m at it, maybe it’s not too late to sprinkle some foxglove seeds around… Imagine what they may become some day…
May the one who “supplies seed to the sower and bread for food supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way…” (II Cor.9:11ESV)