Did you ever try planting seeds as a kid? I did. The memory is still so vivid of waiting patiently for what seemed like an eternity after delicately burying those raw apple seeds, and finally enjoying the fruits of my labor when that huge harvest of spaghetti squash broke ground...
Of course that never happened.
While this may sound like I'm being a tad bit too simplistic, I just really want to help you understand a very simple idea: To see a specific type of growth, you have to know the seed you need.
In Luke 8 in the Bible, Jesus is recorded as telling a parable of a farmer who went out to sow seed. He describes the different soils the seed fell on (we'll get to the soil thing in a later blog post) and shares the effects each soil has on the seed. Afterward, his disciples ask him for an explanation. He begins with, The seed is the word of God. He ends with, But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.
As a follower of Jesus, I can tell you how uniquely powerful the information contained in the Bible has been for me and my family. It has helped me grow in incomparable ways. I really wish more people were willing to learn from what we intimately know as the word of God.
While Jesus was sharing a spiritual principle through his parable, I believe he was also illuminating a practical one as well.
For Christians, we see in the Bible how obedience and submission to the words of Jesus lead to eternal salvation, while also manifesting healthy growth in us - emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and even physically. Depending on what element of my life needs to experience life and growth, I might choose to focus my faith or attention on a particular passage from Scripture.
For instance, if I am struggling with self-doubt, I'll meditate and focus on Psalm 139:13-16.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
If I want my self-confidence to grow, I sow seed into my mind and heart that reflect that passage of Scripture.
The same principle applies in our relationships, our business, our health, or any other area of life. If you want to see something grow, you have to know the seed you need.
Counseling so many people over the last decade, I can count on one hand the number of times that people were willing to embrace this idea. Most of the time people are looking for a magical solution to the lack of growth in their lives. That, or they want to keep planting dandelion seeds, but harvest watermelons.
Until you can clearly identify the seed that you need, you cannot experience healthy growth. If you're ready to experience healthy, specific growth, then sit down and write out exactly what kind of growth you want to see. Look at the words on the page. What words jump out at you? Identify clearly what growth looks like for you.
The growth you want to see is directly tied to the seed you need.
This is just the beginning. In my next post for you, I want to share how you can check your soil before you start wasting seed.
Remember, growth is simple.