I am in a long season of sowing. I am in the throes of parenting a middle-schooler, an elementary-schooler and a preschooler. I’m on my fourth year of blogging. I sing on the worship team, fill my monthly slot at the nursery sign-in table, and volunteer for the PTO. And I’m doing all of this alongside my husband of 18 years.
If I were to describe my typical day in one word it would be “routine.”
No job relocations, no book contracts, no newly-adopted babies. I’m not changing the world, or even my hair color, as far as I can see. I am just diligently and faithfully setting my hand to do everything God has given me to do for this long, laborious season.
Seedtime is exhausting. It’s easy to become discouraged during seedtime, because I rarely see evidence of my labor. Sometimes, it’s almost as if the ground is looking up at me and screaming, “You are RUINING MY LIFE.” And then, it runs upstairs and slams the bedroom door.
Sometimes, in the midst of seedtime, it’s tempting to look over at the farm next door and wonder why their crops are higher, more colorful. Why are they reaping already? How is it that they have homemade pumpkin pie when I barely see a sprout? Or is that a weed?
Sometimes I look down into my dirty, calloused hands, examine my seed, and wonder if the seed is any good at all—if it will ever produce the harvest I envision. Maybe I bought some cheap seed by accident. Maybe my seed is rancid. Maybe my see is worthless.
Most days, it feels like I’m slowly and painstakingly walking up and down acres and acres of fields, tossing seed this way and that. Scattering pests that swoop down to devour my seed before it even has a chance to take root. Pulling up weeds that threaten to choke a tender bud—a bud that has yet to break through the carefully tilled soil. Hoping the soil and the rain and the sun all do their thing, so my vulnerable little seeds will someday grow.
And then I pray.
And I wait.
And I keep sowing.
That’s where I’ve been, lately. And from my vantage point–out here in the middle of a giant field—where I’ll be for a while.
And that’s why I appreciate so much when God sends me a little sign that something, anything, somewhere, somehow is sprouting. Maybe something I had sown years ago—or maybe last week—took root. Maybe someday, I will have a crop after all.
God graciously sent me one of those moments last night, when my 12-year-old handed me a report she wrote for school. Her assignment was to discuss someone she views as a good Christian example. No, it wasn’t me. That would have been
a miracle nice, but I wouldn’t expect such an atrocity until well past her 21st birthday, when she realizes I wasn’t actually intending to ruin her life.
But her choice was someone I had just told her about last week, in passing, while chatting with her in the kitchen one ordinary (and dare I say, routine?) evening.
I chose Rich Mullins because he was an amazing Christian artist with the best of intentions for others. The profits from his tours and the sale of each album went to his church, which divided it up, paid Mullins the average salary in the U.S. for that year, and gave the rest to charity. As a result, Rich lived close to poverty even though he was one of Christian music’s top artists.His faith is demonstrated in a quote that he said during one of his concerts shortly before he died. He stated that:
“Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think. That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my Savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor. This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.”
She found that quote on her own—she searched for something meaningful to her, and she chose that.
Is that a sprout I see peeking up through the soil?
And so this morning, with dirty and calloused hands, I kneel next to this tiny bud-of-a-harvest, and wipe away tears. I am committed to protect this little sprout from the Enemy who would love nothing better than to choke the life out of it.
Not on my watch.
I thank the Lord that this one tiny seed–and the million others like it—sown in love, will produce a crop of righteousness at the appointed time.