Imagine going to your local garden store, picking out the perfect packet of seeds-heirloom tomatoes, okra, carrots, lettuce or beans and upon getting home, you grab a bowl, pour out the contents and start eating them with a spoon. I just read that people in some African villages are doing that, minus the bowl and spoon.
I don’t know if they are just too hungry and don’t want to wait for the harvest, or if they don’t have the skills and knowledge to make an abundant harvest a reality. But according to a relief worker, “One of the most frustrating things is that in villages where they receive seed, they often eat the seed rather than planting it and bringing forth the harvest.”
When I explained this strange phenomenom to my daughter, she told me that if she was starving she’d probably eat the seed because she might die before the harvest.
How often have I done this very thing because I didn’t want to put the effort into caring for the seed, fearing I might figuratively die in the process. In my example the seeds represent “lessons” I’ve learned, but somehow haven’t been sown into my heart in a way that I can use in everyday living.
As my daughters and me were talking about this, I reminded them of the many lessons their parents-in-training try to give them. It’s easy to say they won’t lead the dogs to the mud just to watch them get dirty, or eat conspicuous-looking berries, or make frown faces, or spray mom’s perfume, or bully children at school, or wear mom’s MAC “Sobe“-really-hard-to-get-out-of-the-carpet lipstick. (Taking a deep breath).
It is easy to “hear” the lesson, but it is much harder to bring forth a harvest from it. We know we are supposed to forgive people (seed), but it’s very hard to do when you are in the middle of a situation (unsown seed). We know that time flies (seed), but we settle for and focus on the mundane and passive things in life (unsown seed). I’m really trying to work on this last one. I want to be more diligent in how I spend my time, making sure my family knows how fiercely I love them.
So, this Mother’s Day week, I’m trying to be more aware of how I use my seeds. I don’t just want to chomp down on colorless, bland and odorous seeds. I want to savor a harvest of ripe, cherry-red, glossy “early-girl” tomatoes. And though the task is a challenge at times, there is a promise I’ll try to sow into my heart, “those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.” The psalmists know their stuff…I better get sowing!