If that seed had bloomed at the same time as all the rest it wouldn’t have made it.
In my high hopes for an early spring I decided I wanted to plant something. It seemed if I wasn’t going to have control over some things in my life, I could at least bring life to something else. There is something really exciting about the possibility of growth and new life. To be able to mix a few seeds and some dirt and bring forth something else entirely is a beautiful concept.
I tucked the seeds into the dirt, added some water, sang, “Alabaré a Mi Señor” or “I will praise the Lord” to them, and waited with anticipation. And little by little, small green sprouts began to shoot up. I checked on them and watched their growth each day. The signs all indicated flowers were on the way, that is, until I forgot to water them for a few days.
We had some company and I moved the plant to a location less noticeable. It was apparently such a good spot that I forgot to notice it myself. Several days went by without any water or singing or care and the next time I went to peer inside the planter all the sprouts were drooping. I rushed to the faucet and added some water but it was too late. It was like adding a flood to a graveyard.
I couldn’t bring myself to throw them out. I held on to hope that they would somehow revive and begin to bloom, but none of them showed signs of life again. I continued to water them each day but I wasn’t holding my breath. Then one day this week the plant started to do a curious thing—an entirely new, lone sprout shot up right in the center of the soil. In its little existence it has grown taller and fuller than any of the half a dozen spouts before it. Talk about a late bloom! It dawned on me though, that if that seed had bloomed at the same time as all the rest it wouldn’t have made it.
It was in my observation of this little beacon of hope that I realized yet another lesson about life. We are all seeds in the hands and care of someone else. Our growth depends on a lot of different sources like being watered and loved and talked too and fed. We all hold a great responsibility as well to care for the seeds in our own garden. Others in our lives carry seeds of greatness and potential, but not all those seeds make it. Far too many people never bloom to their full capacity.
And in a small way I completely relate to my lone sprout. I often feel that I bloom at a different time than everybody else, but it has taught me to believe that perhaps I’m right where I need to be in the process. It gives wings to the possibility that we too can defy all odds and rise from the ashes. A delayed sprout may mean survival after the flood. Trust God in His timing—He is never wrong.
In one of the best books I have read, I was introduced to a real life character named Jones. He is mysterious and full of life; always quick to provide perspective and he always carries around a suitcase. Near the end of the book the other people find his suitcase abandoned in the parking lot. With no leads on how to find Jones they decide to open it and find it full of packets of every kind of seed imaginable. Also inside is a note from Jones: I have left these seeds for you as a simple reminder that you must also plant your own seeds in the minds and hearts of those you touch…I am not gone. I will be around. The best is yet to come” (Andrews, 155).
Jones made it his business to plant seeds in others. He saw the potential and cultivated it. He grew a garden everywhere he went. Andrews later writes, “I smile when I see the stalks of corn beside a mailbox or watermelons growing right out in someone’s front yard. It is easy now to drive down any street…and see a reminder of what happened” (Andrews, 155). Live that way dear readers. Carry your suitcase of seeds and give them out wherever you go. Let your work be visible and don’t give up! You can bloom among the thorns.
1 Corinthians 3: 6—I planted, Apollos watered, but God [all the while] was making it grow and [He] gave the increase.
Andrews, Andy. The Noticer. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2009. Print.