While walking my dogs the other day, I spotted a tiny viola (also known as violets, and Johnny jump-ups) poking its blooms up from the mulch beside my porch. The purple, white, and yellow flowers looked so delicate and fragile in the middle of the winter season, and very much out of place.
I wondered how the tiny plant managed to emerge in an area where I had not planted any flowers. Then I remembered the hanging baskets I had placed on my porch in the summer. One or several of the flowers from the hanging baskets must have dropped seeds, which germinated due to the rain and several days of warmer temperatures in my area.
Seeds of Hope
Seeing the spot of color amid the gray of the winter shot a bolt of energy through me, giving me hope for the upcoming spring and better weather ahead. Though my area has had a rather mild winter, the grayness of the season has taken a toll mentally on many people I know. Those of us affected by the dreary skies are seeking reassurance that current conditions are not permanent and brighter days are ahead literally and figuratively.
The delicate flowers also reminded me how small seeds become larger plants and trees, bringing beauty and wonder to life in the landscape. The transformation of the seeds to plants and trees takes time and energy. It also requires help from the sun and the rain to get the growing process started and to maintain growth.
We are also like the seeds, needing time and energy to grow and mature. As we learn through our experiences, we find ourselves needing help at times. We may seek the light of the sun and water of the rain for physical and mental well-being. Many of us may also seek the help of the Son through our faith for spiritual well-being.
But I Can’t See It
Sometimes, we may not realize we need help and try to do everything ourselves. In these instances, we rely on what we know and can see to keep us going, but the reality is what we don’t see—our faith—is what fuels our fire.
We also may dislike admitting needing help, which can lead us on a misdirected path to our destination. As we walk along, our seeds of faith slowly steer us back in the right direction, and moments of enlightenment help us to realize the reality of our situation.
Other times, we may not see the help being given to us, yet we have a sense that something or someone is at work behind the scenes. It is in such times our seeds of faith tell us to have hope as we move forward. We may not see where we are going or know how the desired outcome will be achieved, yet we feel we will rise above the circumstances to reach the goal.
While we often feel we need to see in order to believe, the truth is what we do not see is really what leads us to believe. As St. Paul wrote:
Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1.
We encounter many other types and varieties of seeds as we make our journey through life. Some seeds are good, others not so much. Often, we may not know if the seeds are good or bad until they sprout or blossom. Once we see the features of the plant grown from the seed, we deem the plant to be good, bad, or otherwise.
Similarly, we may not know if seeds of doubt or uncertainty planted by life circumstances are good or bad until we see events unfold. Seeds of love are fine until thorns of selfishness or power invade and overrun the love. Seeds of wisdom are also fine until runners of ego emerge, taking over wisdom’s truth and transparency.
Just as seeds in nature, the seeds of our thoughts and feelings need help to grow. If we feed our seeds with positivity, we have a brighter outlook, which we can in turn use to help others. Conversely, if we feed our seeds with negativity, we usually end up with a messy patch of weeds that we need to pull so that the more positive seeds can grow.
Power of Little Things
If we stop to think about all the little seeds both in nature and within us, and we consider all the outcomes of these seeds, we find life itself. All the inner workings and details of what goes on around us are due to some kind of seed. We can choose to cultivate the good or the bad, positive or negative, helpful or hurtful seeds. We must choose wisely which seeds we nurture and which ones we neglect.
It all starts with one seed. That is all it takes, just one seed. The power within that one seed can change the world around us for the good or the bad. Though we have the power to choose, we must realize that this power is limited in that we cannot dictate the outcomes of life in general. We can, however, try our best to cultivate a garden within us that helps to feed those around us with reassurance, hope, and inspiration.
May our seeds of faith and hope give us courage and strength, as well as wisdom and perspective to keep moving upon our journey. May the seeds we share provide nourishment for our minds, bodies, and souls, and may we recognize, as well as appreciate, the power within these seeds.
Garden of Life
Seeds tiny and round
Hiding beneath the ground
Until the sun and the rain
Allow roots to run and sustain
Leaves and stalks, blossoms and fruits,
As time walks beneath the moon
Coloring the garden of life
For the wondering mind.
Seeds small and miniscule, often not seen,
Yet able to fuel what does or does not come to be,
Concealed at first,
Revealed when unearthed,
Rising from within
To guide with words unspoken,
Coloring the garden of life
Through moments of time.
Under the surface or deep within
Each seed has a purpose in the garden,
Some for good and some otherwise,
Some revealed, others in disguise,
All with the power to change
Through the showers of sun and rain,
Coloring the garden of life
With hues both different and alike.
-Lisa A. Wisniewski
References and Related Links
Hebrews 11:1 – http://biblehub.com/hebrews/11-1.htm