The old maple tree is loaded with seeds right now…those whirlybirds that twirl on a breeze. The flowers, the grasses, the fruit…all are going to seed. It’s harvest. A time for reaping as the plants ready for scattering.
My tomato plants are heavy laden, the beans and zucchini are stretching out daily as if they’re being squeezed from a tube, and the herbs look ready to jump themselves into a jar for the pantry.
Science refers to seed production as the means by which the species will carry on. My soft spirit has always felt this theory sterile and clinical. And somehow even selfish, as if nature has a desire to dominate the planet. Is that what is being communicated? This gardener girl doesn’t understand lab-speak as well as dirt-dialect.
Yes, the growth rate of some of the garden is almost visible, but I’ve been around long enough to know that come freeze, these plants will die. If winter weather is harsh enough, even the grandfather maple may not survive. But do the dying sow seed to save themselves?
My mind returns to the hours prior to my grandfather’s death when he said, “My only regret is that I did not get to fund the new church building project.”
What will I wish I would have done in my time
Granddad let go of his life believing he would not return. His time for sowing seed had passed. Mirroring my garden, it’s not on the deathbed that a plant gives seed, but in preparation of the end…knowing time is precious.
What if seeds are sown, rather than having a need to carry on self, as a gift of hope for the future?
The teachings of Paul the Apostle in Galatians chapter 6 are an encouragement in living for the benefit of others. Paul speaks of gently restoring a sinning brother, bearing the burdens of one another, sharing our goods with teachers and sowing to the Spirit. I am particularly moved by the words of Galatians 6:7-10 from the Good News Translation:
Do not deceive yourselves; no one makes a fool of God. You will reap exactly what you plant. If you plant in the field of your natural desires, from it you will gather the harvest of death; if you plant in the field of the Spirit, from the Spirit you will gather the harvest of eternal life. So let us not become tired of doing good; for if we do not give up, the time will come when we will reap the harvest. So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith. -Gal 6:7-10
My harvest from this passage is understanding the outcome of how I use my resources during my lifetime.
If I deposit my assets with a motive to benefit myself, I will live in a culture of the selfishness I have planted. A self-centered sap raises selfish saplings who perpetuate an eroding environment. I should not be deceived, more for me does not result in more for everyone.
Or I can place my seed in a garden benefiting community…planting into and for others.. producing a society of givers.
A field of the Spirit…producing fruit of the Spirit.
Fruit of the Spirit…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control….(Galatians 5:22-23).
Have you ever been a part of a “pay it forward” goodwill movement? I can recall going through a Starbucks drive-thru, on more than one occasion, and being delighted by a free (to me) drink that was paid for by the car ahead of me. The joy in the gift inspired me to do the same for the individual in the car behind me. A seed-size good deed. What fun!!!
I believe that every season, and every generation, has an opportunity to sow seeds of hope into the future. This is not a puff on a dandelion and watch the air carry the resources away kind of sowing (that’s a rant for another day!). Intentional cultivation begins with the quality of the soil and works diligently…tirelessly…sacrificially…for the good of (1) the germination of new life, (2) the development of companionships, and (3) the restful silence of the dying wish.
New life, companionship and peace.
Hope for the future.
“So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone….”
I have a handful of seeds.
You have a handful of seeds.
Friend, where today shall we plant them?