We all hold seeds. These are the seeds we sow into the people around us through our presence. Our generous offerings of love, art, words, hospitality, and beauty have the potential to bring color and life into the world.
But sometimes we clinch our seeds because we think they are too small, teetering on the edge of insignificance. They need our hands to protect them from being trampled on.
Some of us believe we must control our seeds- burying them in the dirt only when the conditions are perfect. We till straight rows and drop the seeds into the soil with precision and prayers. We insist on their survival and want to be there to see them flourish.
Some of us criticize our seeds. We don’t like the way they look, their size and shape to humble to harbor anything useful. We state our preferences and reveal our prejudices through our disgruntled spirit.
Clinching, controlling, and criticizing our seeds only stiffens our soul and puts us at odds with the wild life we were created for.
I’ve spent too many years white knuckling my seeds instead of releasing them into the wind.
- I labored over my passion to encourage women to be adventurers, to travel with God into the unknown. I forced this dream of mine into the corner, convinced it had to look a certain way.
- In my love for writing, I would worry over every word wondering who would read it, if any. I wanted responses and affirmation to help me feel like the work I was doing mattered.
- I also tried to cage up my creativity behind the bars of professional branding, hoping someday I would have a breakthrough and finally find my target audience who would snatch up all my products and ideas like hotcakes.
- I toiled over my mothering too, still do on some days. Is what I’m doing making any difference in their lives? Or what if I’m completely messing them up? The mystery of nurturing my four little explorers, of not knowing exactly who they are and who they will become, brings out my tendency to want to control their behavior, be hyper-vigilant over their every move, and put reins on their imaginations.
I hunched over all my various seeds in protection mode. If I was going to offer my presence, my compassion, my gifts, then I wanted to defend them against rot and decay or from being wasted or rejected.
I needed to know the destination and fate of my tiny seeds.
Where would they land, would they grow, who would take care of them if I wasn’t close by? I feared being too careless, irresponsible, or relaxed.
THE WILDFLOWER WAY OF SOWING SEED
Wildflowers, as we all know, are solely dependent on something as fickle as nature for their seeds to be dispersed. For this reason, wildflowers don’t get much attention in our hustling culture, instead they get stepped on in our scramble to become important.
We stop to stare at those with the sexy six-figure incomes, the ones on the stages speaking lots of words, or growing successful families, start-ups, or just generally appearing to know the secret to making an impact in this world.
We rarely stop to consider the wildflowers.
Like a dandelion- what would it would it look like for us to attach a parachute to our passions? Be it for painting or justice or gathering people, how could we blow these God-given seeds into the breeze trusting our efforts are not in vain?
Or what about following the form of a common poppy, allowing our heavy seed case to pull us over, drooping humbly towards the dirt. Then, from a place of rest and peace, we let our tiny seeds drop as they will into the darkness for another season. Their exact whereabouts are not our concern.
We argue against the wildflower’s natural way of scattering seed. Reliant upon the unpredictability of gusty fall winds, the feet of wandering animals, the beak of a hungry bird, or the heavy rains leaves us with no certainty the spreading will actually happen.
But I wonder if we’ve been taught to idolize our seeds, to be stingy, greedy gardeners?
The wildflower way of living is generous, offering prized seeds without needing to know their final landing spots.
The wildflower way of existence is peaceful, calmly being present in the world without an agenda. There’s no desire to arrive out on top, let our voice be the loudest, or tirelessly work ourselves to death in the name of influence.
Neither is there a driving need to be noticed along the way.
The wildflowers have grabbed my attention, their seeds have landed in my soul, and I don’t plan on digging them up.
“…the little wild flowers have a wonderful lesson to teach. They offer themselves so sweetly and confidently and willingly, even if it seems that there is no one to appreciate them. Just as though they sang a joyous little song to themselves, that it is so happy to love, even though one is not loved in return.”
Hannah Hurnard, Hinds Feet in High Places