“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” (from Mark 4:1-20)
We plant the seeds of faith by being intentional disciples – spreading the gospel message, sharing our beliefs and values openly, loving God and others, and acting as feet-washing servants. Even then we don’t know if or when we will see results.
I am not a farmer by trade, but I know enough about planting seeds to know there are things we can do to make germination more likely, to increase our chances of bearing fruit.
First, we must use a high-quality seed. Our seeds of faith must be authentic. The soil in which we are planting will be more receptive if the message is genuine. When we sow seeds of faith for show or for personal gain, they will likely fall on rocky soil.
Second, we need to sow the seeds under the right conditions. We must plant the seeds of faith with love and out of love.
Third, we need persistence. Why not play the odds? If germination rates are only 40-80%, why not increase our odds by sowing the seeds of faith more often? Yield will increase with the number of seeds planted.
Fourth, we need patience. Germination will not likely occur overnight, or perhaps even for years.
In researching the germination of seeds, I came across the word quiescence. Seeds are living organisms. Although a seed may appear to be dead, it is actually in a state of quiescence. Quiescence means that the seed is at rest until desirable conditions trigger germination; the point is, the seed of faith we planted is still alive.
That should provide some level of comfort to those of us who are praying for loved ones that have lost their way on their faith journey. We have planted the seeds. We must be be patient – those seeds may not be dead, but rather in a state of quiescence. Germination is still possible.
If we use high quality seeds and sow them with love, and are persistent and patient, then all there is left to do is walk by faith, trusting that those seeds will germinate.
And when they do germinate, the possibilities are limitless.
Planting seeds is an act of faith.
The following is a quote from Henry David Thoreau’s work, Faith in a Seed: “Though I do not believe a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”
Please continue to plant the seeds of faith.