Recently, I found a treasure at a used bookstore...Soul Gardening: Cultivating the Good Life.
It's one of those books that calls my heart and soul to "come and dine".
Today the author shared about the first time he planted a seed...and it took me back...
To when I was a child, holding my first seed...rolling it around between my fingers...wondering how something so small could ever grow to look like the flower on the seed packet.
I remember the scene so well...the noble rock behind me, which seemed so big at the time. The field of grass spread before me. And a little hole in the ground that I had grand dreams for.
I think it was a Hibiscus....because I remember thinking if I grew enough of them, I could make a necklace.
All I know is that the packet promised that if I put that seed into the ground, out would come this HUGE BRILLIANT flower.
It took my breath away.
Day after day after day I ran to my rock and sat on it, staring intently at the site, believing with all my heart that my flower was going to poke up from the ground, any second now.
But it never, ever came.
I remember standing there, feeling betrayed...wondering what I had done wrong. It was supposed to be so different.
I returned to that site many times over the next year...always expectant. Always hoping. Even in the snow of winter.
I have planted A LOT of seeds since that day and, unlike my first experience in gardening, almost all of them have come to life. Born fruit. Flowered.
So what's the difference you say?
Why failure then and success now?
Because now I understand...
That good intentions and child-like faith are not enough.
It takes knowledge. And perseverance. And patience.
To grow anything...a flower...a marriage...a child...a dream.
They say success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.
I believe it. I've gone through a lot of virtual deodorants in my life time.
A seed planted is an act of hope.
But once that seed emerges it needs so much more...time...darkness and sunlight...water and drought...fertilizer...
All necessary ingredients if that fragile seedling is going to become a strong and healthy plant and bring forth the fruit it was intended to bear.
And friends, we are no different.
We all long to bear fruit...to produce lives of beauty and fragrance for others and the glory of God.
But it is not as simple as wishing, and hoping, and child-like faith.
Our hands will get dirty.
The sweat will pour down.
We will be called to watch and wait and guard the precious seed. To be faithful.
And then rest knowing we have done our part, and now it is time for Him to do His.
So don't give up.
Whatever dream you are nurturing, holding near and dear to your heart...
Hold fast to the vision before you. Put that seed packet in front of you to remind you that after you have done your part, He will do His.
For in due season you WILL reap, if you don't give up.