“Plant your seed in the morning
and keep busy all afternoon,
for you don’t know if profit will come from
one activity or another—or maybe both.”
One seed in the ground is worth far more than a bushel forever in the barn.
This thought has been ringing in my head for a while. You see, I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. I’ve overcome the trap in many areas, but deep roots still linger in my writing. How do I know? Dozens of scribbled notes and partially finished posts tell the story. Nuggets of wisdom and joy, encouragement and revelation received in simple, everyday ways, but put away in folders because my words didn’t come together as well as I thought they should.
Desiring excellence is good. And striving for truth, important.
Trying to write perfectly, however, has often tied me in knots.
How about you?
- Any unfinished projects waiting for all the pieces to come together?
- Maybe ideas or inventions that never got off the ground?
- Are your dreams lying dormant in unrealistic expectations?
In a desire for excellence, we often place the burden of perfection on ourselves and choke out the very gifts we long to give. As I’ve wrestled with this, the Holy Spirit gave me His perspective:
All of life comes in seed form – not as monuments.
God created all living things to bring forth seed, not reproduce shrines. I shouldn’t expect what I do or create to ever be completely finished. Nothing is ever at a place where it cannot be added to or altered in some manner. Not because it’s not good, but because God created life to be ever-expanding.
My words shouldn’t be trophies to look at, but seeds to continue the cycle of Life.
Look at Jesus. His words weren’t meant to simply be plaques on a wall. His Life didn’t end when He ascended to heaven. Jesus spoke each word knowing they would bring forth Life. He knew all He said and did would continue to reverberate through the eternities. Not because of a shrine built in His honor or a Kingdom carved in stone, but because He reproduced His Life in others.
So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11
Every day you gather seeds: A word here, a picture there; a combination of colors, a unique intersection of lines, or the movement of light; a truth spoken in season or a breath of the Spirit. Gifts carrying creative life. Some will take root in your soul. They’ll wash down in the cracks of your thoughts, break open, and start to grow. They’ll always carry life from the original seed, but will now multiply and spread and take on a new form.
These broken down seeds will spring up in fields of green or as trees with sprawling branches. Fruit will ripen to feed you and all with whom you share. Life received. Life given. The moment you try to perfect your fruit, however, its life begins to fade.
Don’t try to build monuments. They are lifeless and eventually crumble.
Instead, take the seeds you’ve gathered, the seed you’ve grown, and plant them. Plant them in words and paintings and math equations and generous acts. Plant them in recipes and inventions and a job well done. Plant them knowing they may not be stared at or talked about or have photos taken of them by busloads of tourists. But they will bring forth new life. They will inspire and change lives and solve problems and bring joy.
One seed planted in the ground is worth far more than a bushel forever in the barn. What do you have in your hand? It may be the very seed that will change the world.
Plant it and watch God work.
The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry.” Isaiah 55:10