Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop — a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”–Matthew 13:3-8
A few years ago, I spoke at a camp at which I have been both a camper and a staff member. Upon arrival, some campers who I had worked with previously greeted me. One afternoon, a group of us were reminiscing about past years at camp when one young man mentioned that he remembered something I had said at a seminar four years prior. Expecting him to say something sarcastic, I asked him what it was. “You told a story about getting cut from a team and someone told you, ‘It is not how far you fall, but how high you bounce back up that matters.’ I’ll never forget that,” he said.
Rarely in our lives do we get an opportunity to know how we have affected another person. I felt so encouraged to know that someone was actually paying attention four years before! But mostly, it was a reminder to me. Each one of us has the ability to plant seeds. We have the ability to plant positive seeds that can bear fruit for the kingdom and negative seeds that can crush spirits. There are times that I am sure I have missed opportunities, but this was a great reminder that you never know who is really listening.
Each one of us is an example to others around us and, as such, we must be conscious of what type of seeds we are planting. More often than not, you will not know whether you have affected someone positively or negatively or at all. We should never do anything looking for awards, praise, or accolades. But as this young man encouraged me, I know it is my place now to encourage someone else: the person who originally shared that quote with me more than ten years ago.
Today, remember those people who have made a difference in your life. If possible, thank them for the legacy they have handed down to you.
1. What kinds of seeds are you planting in people’s lives at work? At home? On a day-to-day basis?
2. Is there someone in your life who helped you during a tough time or molded your life? Have you said “thank you”? Now may be the time.
Psalm 10:12-18; 1 Timothy 1:5-7; Hebrews 3:7-19