Monday, June 20, 2016
The Power Of A Single Seed
On October 26, of last year, the late autumn sun was blazing down upon our back yard here in Oxnard, California. Halloween was just 5 days away, and because I had a busy work week ahead, this was my only chance to help the girls carve their pumpkins for the upcoming holiday on Oct. 31 (And yes, as children of Scots who love costume and flourish, we do celebrate Halloween in our household). As Sheena and Haley carved out the inside goo from their respective pumpkins, a clump of ooze clung to one of their hands. "Ooh, yuck Daddy, get it off!" "Just fling it in the garden," I said. "Just fling it in the garden....". Little did I know how portentous this advice would end up to be. Apparently, the pumpkin slime also carried with it at least one seed from the inside of the pumpkin. I know this because, as I write this post, a twenty foot plant, verdant with two basketball sized pumpkins now grows in our garden (pictured above). From this slimy seed has grown a huge plant. And this whole episode has got me thinking about:
The Power Of A Single Seed
The gospel of Jesus Christ is really in large part about this very dynamic. Of course, the Bible is rife with stories about seeds:
* "I have given you every herb bearing seed..." (Gen. 1:29)
* "He that sows sparingly will reap sparingly" (2 Corinthians 9:6)
* "I say to you that unless a seed of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it is useless" (John 12:24)
* "If you have the faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move this mountain" (Matt. 17:20)
* "Still other seed fell on good soil, and it came up" (Mark 4:8)
And all of these illustrations about seeds are significant and carry with them deeper meaning for their particular context. What is remarkable about my own story of the "pumpkin seed", and why I think that it is an emblem of the gospel of Christ is because:
A Seemingly Unwitting Action Produced Such a Huge Result
I am actually quite a terrible gardener. For most of my life I have tried unsuccessfully to grow many things (vegetables, flowers, trees). Either by benign neglect or over-attention I have managed to kill most of the plants that I have been in charge of. I have been equally unsuccessful in helping my daughters to grow plants. Our pumpkin plant was not meant to grow where it did, or as large as it did - and yet it grew.
The Kingdom of God happens in the same way. With the flick of a wrist, an enrollment in a class, a decision to pay off debt, a "yes I will marry you", a tag-along to a Sunday school class, many many lives have been changed forever.
A Child Did the Flinging
Something tells me Jesus would have loved this story of the pumpkin seed. For one thing, He loved/loves children. He loved their random energy, their impetuous ideas, their innocent games, their animated excitement over pumpkin goo. The Jesus that I know would have loved that what a child thought was, "goo" as actually the beginning of a great living thing. I can almost hear Jesus telling this parable:
"The kingdom of God is like a child carving out a pumpkin and getting slimy goo all over her fingers and flinging it into a field, only to find eight months later that the goo that was rejected turned into a huge blooming plant."
The goo that was rejected - became the corner plant of a whole new world!
The Kingdom Grows Where It Will
When I said that the pumpkin goo was flung unwittingly into the garden, I wasn't being exactly accurate. As you can see from the picture, the seed was flung just along the side of the cement edge of the porch. No hole was dug, no water was poured on it, no fertilizer was strewn on top of it, no care whatsoever was given to the bourgeoning plant. Just a single seed being flung by a child on a hot autumn day. It really is testament to;
The Power of A Single Seed!
All For Now,