It's Father's Day, and we're planting trees.
I'll admit it--compared to their 300 ft. anscestors on the coast, it boggles me to think that these six foot saplings will ever someday tower so tall they will scratch the sky. Yet barring unforseen problems, the only thing that can prevent them from doing so is if we never actually plant them.
Elementary, isn't it--that we must sow in order to reap? But how often we look at the barreness of a hillside, the lack of fertile soil, the circumstances that seem contrary, and give up without ever actually planting something. This happens in the realm of people's hearts as well--our own and others'. Maybe we look at the level of emotional disconnection and we think "what's the use of even trying to fix this relationship?", or at the discrepancy of what we long for compared to what we actually experience, be it in relationships, dreams, or destinies.
In the midst of the process it's easy to overlook the simple truth that we must sow today what we want to harvest in the coming years. Love. Kindness. Wisdom. Vision, effort, grace. And sometimes it appears as if these seeds are dying in the ground, for all we see happening on the surface.
But we sow in hope. Ecclesiates 11 says, "He that observes the wind shall not sow; and he that regards the clouds shall not reap..." I, for one, have often questioned the value of casting seed into the face of the wind, or looked at the storm and wanted to draw back. And yet--if that's what we do when the ground seems unfriendly, the weather unrelenting, then indeed, we will never reap.
Because the flat-out truth is-- We only have the harvest we plant. No sow, no grow.
Of course there's watering. Tending. Weeding. Watching and praying, even. But no one incubates empty ground in hopes that the seed that was never sown will somehow miraculously spring up out of the dirt and bear fruit.
It's Father's Day today (as if every other day in the year is not!?), and that's just a good time to count precious the many ways we can sow into our kids, grandkids, greatgrandkids, honorary kids--into people, related or not--for of all the places we plant seeds, seedlings, or saplings, only people are eternal.
When our great-great-great-great grandkids dandle their great-great-great-grandkids on their knees (or give them rides on their shoulders, as the case may be), these redwoods we've planted will tower hundreds of feet into the air, and that will be amazing. But it is the people, in the end, which carry the richest results, eternal rewards, the harvest of our labors, and they carry them infinitely forward.
I'm thinking that is enough incentive to sow in all seasons, in all places, in all soils. Or as the writer says in Ecclesiastes: "In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening do not withhhold it, for you don't know which shall prosper; this [seed] or that, or whether they both shall yield good increase."
Happy Father's Day and happy sowing!