Friday, January 9, 2015

Okra Seeds and My Little Schnauzer

Schnauzer see, Schnauzer do.
The task of the day was to gather mature okra seeds for planting next season.   The four little okra seeds planted last spring, produced lovely plants each bearing pods of deliciousness throughout this past summer.

Now, their season has come and gone and the plants are dried and gray, and bear equally dried and gray okra pods.  That is not the end of their story though, because each of these lackluster, rough capsules holds great treasure!  The beauties gathered here are each full of prospective food if they are planted, watered, and grow.  If not, they are just mulch.  So, we gather and save with the expectation of new plants next season fully capable of producing many more pods of goodness.   The potential is astounding!  Each pod houses several dozen seeds, and each seed potentially produces dozens of pods, showing us God’s “math” is so very generous!  (Remember, His command to “be fruitful and multiply”?)   I just love the way He provides for us on a continuing basis.
Freshly harvested okra seeds, full of potential!

 My helper of the day, as he is most days, wanted to join in the fun. He often follows me around and mimics some of my activities.   Granted, that might be curling up on the couch, but it also might include outdoor adventures.  Some days it includes digging, (in which he finds immense delight) looking for cucumbers or tomatoes, feeding the goldfish in the pond, or finding slithery intruders.  This day, he couldn’t quite reach the top pods, but bless his little puppy heart, he found one low enough to be within his reach.  It was nice and crunchy, (full of fiber?) good for an amusing tug, and besides all that, he could join in doing what I was doing.  He looks to me as an example of what to do and literally, follows in my footsteps.   Makes a Momma proud. 

My okra-harvesting helper. 
We all do it, “follow the leader”, that is.  As youngsters, we usually look up to and imitate our parents to a certain extent.  As we get older and try to do the opposite of our parents, we tend to find someone in our age group to imitate – on screen or in person.  We like what we see someone wear, drive, say, or do, and we follow accordingly.   Then, as we become mature, we look for real role models who make a difference in the world.  For Christians, it is Christ and those who walk according to His example.

It stands to reason that if we follow and imitate qualities we see in other people, that we also have people looking at what we do and imitating us.  To have my sweet little Schnauzer buddy looking and watching and imitating me is one thing, but influencing people?  That is a scary thought. What am I doing that could possibly be worth imitating?  Truth is, we imitate both the good and the bad.  From a gardening standpoint, there are days I seem to be applying poison rather than nourishing, but everyday whatever I do, there are eyes watching, and ears listening.

As a Christian, my mission (commission) is to produce seeds and water and tend to these “new little Christian” seeds.  I’m not always so good at that either, sometimes too critical, sometimes too quick to not even try.  So, because we make mistakes, do we give up?  Neither you nor I can go back to yesterday and redo or undo anything there, nor can we reach into tomorrow.  We do have today and the ability to make it count.  Let’s do that!  You and I together, let’s make an impact for Jesus!  Let’s make seeds, plant them, water them, cultivate them, and be faithful with the task we have been given!   Each of those precious seeds is a treasure of potential to be used within God’s splendid math long after we are gone!  What can be done today?  You could pour out nourishing encouragement, point someone to the Creator, or lift them to the throne of grace in prayer.  With God, small seeds can produce mighty trees.  You can be one of them!   

Dear Father in heaven, we stand amazed to see Your mighty hand at work in all of creation.  The beauty and magnificence of the process You created within the garden, for our benefit, speaks loudly of the magnitude of Your enduring love for us.  Thank You for providing our food, and for providing for the means by which we can enter into Your presence.   Thank you for allowing us to be a part of the planting of the coming generations, help us to be faithful to tend to the precious seeds carefully.  We look to Your example of love as we move forward and ask that You help us to be ever mindful of the things we do that influence those around us.  We pray that we leave seedlings that are growing strong and sure of their mission.

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