June 4, 2019
Why Your Big Life Starts with Something Small
"He also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.'" Mark 4:26-27 (NIV)
When Mrs. Warren, my third grade teacher, hovered over me to check my work or answer questions, all was right with the world. My 8-year-old heart basked in her presence.
From the bottom of her color-coordinated espadrilles to the top of her Dorothy Hamill haircut, my teacher was amazing. She looked like a teacher. She acted like a teacher. She even had the perfectly perfumed smellof a teacher, and I adored her.
Every lesson Mrs. Warren taught was creative and engaged my mind. She sang and strummed along with the autoharp, which was way hippy-cool. And one Friday a month was Freaky Friday - hooray! - when we did centers with string art, skits and other third grade delights. My teacher was entirely wonderful, and I wanted to be just like her.
Mrs. Warren set me on a path that continued for decades. She released seeds of love for learning, a passion for teaching and dedication to children that increased steadily. My desire to become a teacher grew like a plant.
Roots of fascination with the way little minds worked grew deep.
Helping with childcare at church was a stem pushing upward.
Buds emerged when I student-taught in college, followed by full-blown blooms in my classroom years.
I'm still teaching today, although it's shifted out of classrooms into Bible teaching. The tiny seed Mrs. Warren planted in my life grew into a personal guiding purpose.
In Mark 4:26-29, we find a parable that is only retold in this Gospel. It says,
"He [Jesus] also said, ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain - first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.'" (NIV)
In the fourth chapter of Mark, Jesus shares parables of seeds and sowers, strung together like a daisy-chain necklace. In the preceding parables, He is the Sower.
But here in verses 26-29, we are the sower! Bask in that for just a moment. God is the Sower, but He also invites us to join Him so we're part of His life-giving process.
What an incredible gift. When we grow and we're fruitful, suddenly we burst forth with new seeds. God gives us the seeds of His Word. He gives us gifts. He gives us a commission, and then He purposes us to be His seed senders. That divine purpose is customized for each one of His unique girls and boys.
Mrs. Warren sent the seeds of teaching into my life.
My mom sent seeds of mothering and caring for my home into my earliest memories.
Layne, an early mentor, sent the seeds of a Jesus-centered life into my teenaged heart.
Jean, a college leader, sent the seeds of deep Bible-study into me as a young woman.
Mona, a ministry partner, sent the seeds of wise words into my leadership days.
Thinking back on the seeds planted by dozens of women that impacted me makes me teary-eyed. Look in your hands. What type of seeds do you have to send into someone's life?
The list of seeds to be sent is endless because our God is infinitely creative in us. As my wise friend Kendra said, "We're not required to send specific seeds in specific ways, thinking that we've got God's plans for our lives all nailed down. When we're exhaling and not busy hyperventilating, we’re always sending seeds."
God has given us seeds, and we're simply asked to send them, blown by the power of the Holy Spirit into the world.
See your seeds. Exhale. Send. Repeat.
Lord, I'm amazed. You're the divine Sower, but You've put seeds in my hands for Your glory. Blow them with the power of Your Holy Spirit, and make me a seed sender for You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Corinthians 3:8, "The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor." (NIV)
Longing to move from running-on-empty to spent-and-content? Becoming a seed sender is part of that process. Today's devotion is an excerpt from Amy Carroll and Cheri Gregory's Exhale: Lose Who You're Not. Love Who You Are. Live Your One Life Well. Pick up a hot-off-the-presses copy today!
Visit Amy's blog today, and enter to win a free copy of Exhale along with a fun giveaway package!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Who has sent seeds into your life? Send a thank-you note to that person for the small seeds that have become a big part of your life.
Find a dandelion outside today. Hold it, and ask God to show you the seeds He's put in your hands. Blow!
Join the conversation! Share your thoughts about sowing seeds in others' lives in our comments section.
© 2019 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.