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By Carolyn L. Primm
Farming is often described as a gamble. I understand. Even when a jackpot crop seems sure, a final roll of the dice, or roll of thunder, can change the outcome. With farming, as in gambling, those with knowledge and skill of the game stand to do better, but once in a while skill and knowledge aren’t reflected in the outcome. Yes, farming can be a gamble, but, there are some things about the farming process that stay consistent. I know of at least three.
One consistent is that what you plant is what will grow. In the movie Second Hand Lions, Uncle Hub and Uncle Garth invest money into packets of seed for a garden. The two dutifully plant and label each row of seeds according to the label on each package. Later, when asked by their nephew, Walter, to identify the plants, Uncle Garth comes to a troubling realization. Though each row is labeled differently, all the seeds, and hence all the plants, look the same. Corn, corn corn. No matter how you label it, what you plant is what is going to grow!
Second, if a seed produces, it will produce more than what was planted. For example, one kernel of corn can produce a full ear of corn. One ear of corn typically contains 800 kernels of corn. Just ask Google. A few peas, dropped in the earth, will produce multiple pods of peas, many of which contain more peas than were used to start that plant. What you sow is likely to come back to you in greater quantities.
A third expectation is that most seeds require time to grow. Only small children expect immediate growth of a seed. Seeds require time to mature. I can still see the look of pleasure on my dad’s face when he could row his corn or beans. What a joy to see those straight and consistent rows of plants sprouting from the seeds he had planted. That view was a pleasure to him, but not a surprise. Dad knew that if he was patient, what he sowed would be replicated.
These same farming absolutes apply to the seeds we plant into hearts and lives. What grows will be a replica of what we have planted. Seeds of kindness will produce more kindness. Seeds of anger will produce more anger. We have all witnessed how one snarky comment on Facebook can produce multiple hateful responses. Some seeds sprout quickly. Others, the more precious kind, seem to take longer. Seeds of acceptance and forgiveness seem to grow slowly, especially when planted in soil that is already depleted. But, when received, those precious seeds can reproduce full beautiful plants of their own kind. Laws of nature are consistent.
This harvest season might be a good time to assess the crops you have planted this year, this week, or this day. Planting may seem a gamble, but seeds of character grow with remarkable consistency. Given time you will reap what you sow, and you will reap more abundantly than you have sown. Plant wisely.