Ah, May! One of my favorite months. The skies are more blue; the air warm and fresh; the sunshine, cheerful. We take to the outdoors - active on fields, shores, and poolsides, attending Bar-B-Qs, gathering around campfires, spending quality time together. I savor my own increased energy for gardening and hiking as these days grow longer.
Speaking of gardening… I was inspired this month with a reflection on the parable of the sower whose seeds are spread over a wide and varied terrain. A few seeds are quickly pilfered by birds. A handful sprout excitedly, growing without root to sustain themselves. Other seeds grow deep and slow and flourish. The analogy is meant to represent our varied responses to biblical messages. Each of us, at different times, have likely exhibited every one of those metaphoric reactions. Have you ever been too busy to accomplish a good deed you’d planned to do? Have you ever started one with great intention, but got sidetracked and never carried through? Have you set out on a project, planning, tilling the soil, employing resources, and achieving success? Seems this might be a good story to recall this time of year, especially when life can be busy, complicated, or stressful. It reminds us to take our time, set our intentions, and follow through; slow and steady bears much fruit. (Oh, pardon the mixed adages!)
Consider further how we also have experiences as the sower. Sometimes we unearth a fantastic goal, planting (or tossing) our resume, idea, even ourselves, “out there.” We reveal our talents in hopes of moving forward on a meaningful objective. Sometimes it’s easy - we plant with small, plentiful seeds. Other times we offer up our prized kernels. In the first case we feel relaxed and carefree; in the second quite hopeful, even a bit vulnerable, likely unsure, timid, or afraid.
I recently put myself out there, hoping to achieve a long-desired ambition. Unfortunately, an aloof response shook my resolve. Almost embarrassed, I doubted myself. I began to wonder if it was silly to attempt such a feat. Perhaps I shouldn’t have exposed such an intimate goal at all. But I soon realized that planting is good.
Why not try? What about a leap of faith?
I should send my qualifications, talents, hopes, and dreams into the world. In some cases, they will fall on the stone path and be swept away without any consideration. In other places, the ground may initially appear receptive, but nothing will come to fruition. Eventually given a healthy mixture of sunshine and rain, some of my idea-seeds will settle into moist, lush earth, and I will enjoy the fruits of my labor. Of course I don’t act recklessly; it makes sense to avoid repeatedly casting seeds on dry, rocky dirt (un-receptive areas) or rely on empty responses (outward nods with no supporting intentions). Instead I proceed down the path, discerning each potential garden (possibility or opportunity) with an open heart. Adding a hopeful spirit, I invest my energy to find that fertile soil. The wisdom, I suppose, is in taking appropriate risks: seeking, deliberating, and discovering a verdant arena for each aspiration. I plow, nourish, care and cultivate… There I will watch my dream grow slow and beautiful.
So the next time you feel inspired but doubt your inner voice, the next time you want to venture out “on a limb,” under a shadow of uncertainty, wondering if it’s wise to expose such a personal desire... maybe... just... Go for It!
Ponder, pray, and take that leap of faith. Throw the seeds of your imagination high into the air. Let the wind carry some to unexpected regions. Watch the rest scatter over the ground, knowing not all will take root, but hopeful several will indeed flourish. Perhaps a few might thrive and produce beyond expectation!
Take a chance, work hard… till, sow, harvest, reap.
When a large crowd gathered... he spoke in a parable.
“A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path and was trampled, and the birds ate it up.
Some seed fell on rocky ground, and when it grew, it withered for lack of moisture.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it.
And some seed fell on good soil, and when it grew, it produced fruit a hundredfold.”
His disciples asked him the meaning of this parable. He answered...
“The seed is the word of God.
Those on the path are the ones who have heard, but the devil comes and takes the word from their hearts.
Those on rocky ground are the ones who, when they hear, receive the word with joy, but they have no root; they believe only for a time and fall away in time of trial. As for the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce fruit.
But as for the seed that fell on rich soil, they are the ones who, when they have heard the word, embrace it with a generous and good heart, and bear fruit through perseverance.”
Lillian Corrigan uses writing to learn, inspire and encourage both others and herself. No stranger to devastating, life-altering hardship and loss, she's begun working as a motivational author.