lLast week, I attended the church service and this message was reinforced by Bishop Bronner. His sermon, The Cycle of Seed was very thought - provoking and inspirational.
According to him, the seed was meant to multiply and the future lies in the seed we sow.
Matthew 13:1-9 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
This parable has lots of things to teach us if we pay close attention to it. The birds not to be taken as birds in the parable but referring to devils (negative people in our lives) that steal away our ideas. They come into our lives to steal our dreams, causing destruction in our lives. These are people that we need to stay away from or at the least not to be influenced by what they say.
It is like listening to God's words but not fully grasping its meaning because the birds steal it away. Are there people in your lives that discourage you from attending church service, pulling you to the bars and whiner's club ? Be careful with these people, stay away from them.
Next, we have those who sow the seeds but it does not fall into deep roots. The sun here refers to the external circumstances that we encounter. How about going for seemingly easy, get rich scheme or not putting in the efforts and time to acquire the needed knowledge. When recession hits, one cannot rely on these schemes anymore as it lacks a strong foundation and wither away.
Lastly, some seeds that we sow will fall into the thorns and while it grow, it choke up the plants. What are the thorny situation that you had encountered in your life? Does it cause you to give up your goals ? Think of nasty colleagues, work-flow system that is not in place or lack of budget. These obstacles are meant to steer you further away from your goals, to test if you are serious about what you want in life.
I reflect upon this and in my trading, I noticed too I get discouraged from a series of losses as well. It refuses to go the way I expect it to go and time and time again, I get stopped out. On hindsight, I plot the charts and realised that I should not have entered in the first place. Learning from mistakes (painful it might be) is one way to avoid making again.
In short, we have to keep on sowing seeds and never give up this process.
I am not what I had done , I am what I have become! We must continue to keep on believing, praying, praising, encouraging,celebrating, etc. We also must sow according to our abilities and there is no need to compare. Some may sow seeds and get 60 fold while you only get 10 fold. Do not ask God why it is so cause that would cause disharmony and discontentment. God gives us what we are capable of.
We walk by faith not by sight and the faith journey can be a dark one when one is going through a hard time climbing out of the confidence cave.
In Genesis 8: 22 - “As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.”
Seedtime is a process and one that continues in its cycle. The moment we stop, our goals in life will not be achieved, thus we must never give up the sowing time. Bishop Bronner said it beautifully - If you can't put out the fire (challenges in our lives), you would be able to endure the fire and that makes you fire-proof. Opportunities are often disguised as disappointment, complaints, frustrations, difficulties ,etc.
It is not the blow of wind that determine your direction but the seed of sail , i.e. attitude, the mindset. He further reinforced by saying gold is locked in your goals. It is up to us to use our gifts and set it free.
Seeds can also refer to opportunities, children, ideas, money, word,etc It is up to us to interpret it . And all seeds require dirt, water, nature and time to grow. This is the natural process, a irrefutable law of nature. Flowers grow because they want to get out of dirt, isn't this beautiful? Do we want to see flowers blossom in our lives? Then we must get out of the current situation (not the poverty state but the poverty mindset) to improve. The first step is the words that come out from our mouth.
Do you catch yourself saying things like these :
- I can't afford it, this is way too expensive
- What's the point of seeing, it's beyond my budget anyway!
- Get real, let's be realistic, don't stress ourselves out
I now fully understand and can relate to this bible verse - Proverbs 21-23 - Those who guard their mouths and their tongue keep themselves away from calamity.
The tongue, though the smallest part of our body is like the rudder of the boat. It sets the direction of where the boat is heading and not the wind. Here's another of my favourite verse ,
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
(This verse reminds me again and again to be less judgemental on others, be generous when people make mistakes since no human beings are perfect by nature.)
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
(Great examples comparing the tongue to the sparks that lit up the forest or the rudder that determines the direction of the boat)
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Therefore, we must consciously practice on a daily basis to think good thoughts to ourselves, praise and encourage ourselves more , be less critical when we falter and over time, this good habit will be built up.
Only then, when we face trials in our life, we are like the tree with deep roots that will bend its direction according to the storm and not break easily.