In the Gospel of Mark Jesus tells a parable likening the “kingdom of God” to a sower who scatters seed on the ground. That seed is like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, yet it springs up to be the largest of bushes.
(For the full audio version, click here.)
I see two ways to look at this. One way is to understand that there is a seed of the Divine planted in each of us that, when nourished, will grow into the most amazing of things. As Macrina Wiederkehr says in The Song of the Seed, “It has taken up residence in the depths of your being, and it refuses to be silent. This infinite longing that stirs in the depths of your soul is a spark of the divine. It is one of the seeds that has fallen into your life. It may be a seed that was sown many years ago. You will be restless with longing until you listen to its song.”
Think about the seeds that have been planted in your soul whose songs you have heard and followed. Perhaps it was something huge like a call to some type of ministry or profession. Perhaps was something as seemingly small as starting a free library on your block, or taking an elderly friend to the grocery store. Perhaps it was using your gifts and talents – art, music, writing – to make the world a better place. The key is that the song doesn’t let us go, and it leads us toward living an authentic, compassionate, abundant life. What are the seeds that are singing to you right now? And are you paying attention?
The other way to look at this parable is that we are the sowers and it is up to us to scatter the seeds that will bring the “kingdom.” Well, what is the kingdom or kindom (as some prefer to say)? When people live grounded and centered in the Divine love, compassion and justice, this is the manifestation of the kindom of God.
Think about the number of people you come in contact with in the course of a week, or a month. It may very well be hundreds. And with each of those you have the ability to plant seeds. These seeds take many forms, but the key (again) is that they lead people toward living an authentic, compassionate, abundant life. These seeds are being your own authentic self, showing love, sharing joy, standing up for another, speaking truth to power, having courage,empowering, teaching or encouraging another, and so many more things. What seeds are you planting as you go about your daily life?
Sometimes we think we’re planting seeds, but it feels like they aren’t taking root. I get frustrated with my college classes sometimes and many of you have said, “Kaye, you’re planting seeds.” Yes, I know, but I want them to grow… NOW. I want to make sure the seed I planted doesn’t turn into a weed somewhere along the line! But the reality is that seeds begin growing under the surface long before we can see them. And by that time we may be long out of that person’s life.We will often not know what happened to our seeds, but it doesn’t mean we stop planting them. It means we just keep scattering like crazy and trust that the Divine will work to nourish the ones that have fallen in fertile soil.