Small Beginnings: The mystery of spiritual agriculture

We are blessed to live in rural America. I know sometimes we donít feel like we are on the cutting edge of society and we live in the boonies. Sometimes we think we are out of the loop and off the beaten path, but generally speaking, I love living here in the country. Perhaps we are connected to the earth in a different way than folks who arenít raised in the middle of nowhere, for we donít wrinkle up our noses at the smell of freshly spread manure and we almost go into a trance when the farmers cut their hay. Yes, Iím feeling very blessed.

In spite of my bucolic environment, I never developed any gardening skills of my own. I did plant a garden the first spring after we bought our home and I pulled out all the seedling plants while carefully nurturing the weeds. I had a lovely crop of thistles that summer. Thereís a sermon in there somewhere, donít you think? But in spite of my lack of farming acumen, I do have a basic grip on the fundamentals. In fact itís pretty much what we call a no brainer to understand the connection between the seeds you plant and the fruit your plants produce. No one who wants to produce a crop of potatoes will plant kernels of corn in the ground. And if you are hoping for tomatoes, donít plant pumpkin seeds or you will be terribly disappointed.

This is basic logic, isnít it? Thatís because it is an indisputable law of nature, built into the fabric of our existence from ancient times. You reap what you sow. We take it for granted and we donít fight against it. Thereís no point in attempting to produce a crop of soybeans by planting figs. We would waste a considerable amount of time and effort and frustration if we insisted on such a counter intuitive result from our agriculture. Yet in our personal lives and our spiritual gardens, often we do just that very thing.

You see, in addition to the natural law which is deeply ingrained in our way of life there is also a spiritual law that parallels this illustration from agriculture. Not only in the ground do we plant seed and water and cultivate. This takes place in our daily lives on so many levels and every single seed bears fruit in keeping with what we plant. When we indulge our every desire and refuse to deny ourselves any luxury or pleasure, we are planting seeds of excess and often debt. Then we wonder why we struggle to meet our monthly obligations, but this is the fruit that grows from those kinds of seeds. When we engage in destructive behavior and embrace activity that destroys our health, we are planting seeds of addiction and dependency. Then we wonder why we hurt the people who love us and feel like our lives are spiraling out of control in chaos, but this is the fruit that grows from seeds of that sort.

These are two examples of extreme seeds we may sow, but the truth is, we are all gardeners planting seeds from moment to moment throughout the day. Some of these seeds seem small and insignificant, yet they also produce a harvest. We either sow seeds of discouragement or self-confidence with the words we speak to one another. We either sow seeds of truth or deception as we choose to walk by principles of integrity or fraud. We either sow seeds of peace or discord depending on whether we keep our counsel to ourselves or spread the gossip to our neighbor.

In addition to reaping a harvest in kind to that which we sow, the principle is true that we also reap a harvest both proportionately and exponentially to the measure of the seeds we plant. Perhaps you havenít thought about this lately, but we are all gardeners. Everything is a seed. Each thought, each word, each deed. Into the ground it will go. What sort of crop will you grow?

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