Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday Morning Leadership Devo

Planting With Faith

Each spring my wife, Julie, and I plant a garden in our back yard. It’s not a huge deal, just some tomatoes, peppers and a few others things. This past Saturday was “planting” day and this year we decided to branch out and try something new. We have a stretch of additional property behind our backyard fence that runs the length of our backyard and is about 20 feet deep. I usually ignore this stretch of property but this year I decided to mow it and to use a portion of it to plant a pumpkin and watermelon patch. It takes a lot of room to grow watermelons and pumpkins, more room than our garden has, but the space behind our fence is really perfect to experiment with. And that’s what this is for us, an experiment. In our garden, we always buy seedling plants and put them in the ground, but in this new area behind our fence, I decided to just plant seeds. Seeds are much cheaper and since this whole thing is an experiment it’s no big deal if the whole thing is a flop.

So on Saturday, we planted our garden, and then I went with my seed packets to this new area to plant some seeds. The instructions on the packets said to only plant the seeds an inch deep. I basically just poked my finger in the dirt, dropped in a seed, and then covered it up. Since this whole seed planting business was new to me, several things struck me. First, I could not get over the feeling that planting seeds requires much more faith than planting seedlings. It’s hard to imagine that dropping a tiny seed into dry dirt will produce anything. At least with a seedling, the growth has begun. Planting a seedling feels like more of a sure thing. But working on my knees in the dirt, dropping seed after seed into the ground, I could not shake the feeling that nothing was going to happen. It’s almost as if three months from now, if I see nothing happening, that I won’t be surprised. I was also struck at how easy it is to plant seeds. Even though it’s not hard to plant a seedling, it’s really easy to plant a seed. It takes almost no effort at all. In fact, in the time it takes to plant a handful of seedlings, you can scatter and plant many, many more seeds. That led to a third thought. Since I was planting so many seeds (I planted everything in the seed packets), I felt as if surely something would happen. Even if only 10% of the seeds do anything at all, I will have watermelons and pumpkins! No guarantees, but a lot of hope.

So in the midst of all this first time seed planting, I thought of the words of Jesus.

Passage for Reflection: Mark 4:1-9

These words took on a slightly new but important meaning to me. Here are some additional thoughts:

1. We are required by Jesus to scatter seed.
2. My ONLY task is to scatter seed. I don’t have to worry about soil, food, rain, sun, etc.
3. Seed sowing requires faith.
4. Seed sowing is easy, it requires very little physical work.
5. Seed sowing is hard, you can feel like your efforts will produce nothing.
6. You can scatter a lot of seeds with little effort.
7. Most seeds will produce nothing.
8. The seeds that do produce will overwhelm you with fruit.
9. We need more people to sow seeds.
10. The one who plants seeds becomes the master of his garden, a leader, if you will.

“Lord, may I have the faith to plant seeds. Amen.”


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