Starting Small, Like a Seed
April 11, 2014
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The milkweed seed escapes from the dry, cracked pod, catches the wind with its white, wispy filaments that act like a parachute and is carried away. The seed is small, small enough to be carried by the pappi, those wispy filaments, but that small seed grows into a plant that stands two to three feet tall. Having grown up on a farm I can, with some authority, state that the milkweed is what its name suggests, a weed. We were always trying to get rid of it in our Iowa fields.
However, it has been said that a weed is simply a misplaced plant, and so it is with the milkweed. One critical role the milkweed plays is as the only food the larvae of the monarch butterfly eats. Because of the use of herbicides the milkweed is far less common and the result has been a striking drop in the monarch population. During the winter of 1996-1997 enough monarchs migrated to central Mexico to transform 45 acres of the fir forest into a landscape of orange and black. This winter of 2013-2014 they covered less than two acres!
The milkweed seed is small but mighty, in importance. Almost all seeds are small in comparison to what they become. The theology of the seed teaches us that God uses small things and small beginnings in big ways.
Who knows the good that can come from a brief but encouraging word given or a seemingly small and significant deed done? Only God! I remember giving a speech in my college speech class. The teacher’s assistant, a young woman not much older than myself, said something encouraging about my speaking ability. I’ve never forgotten it!
The seeds of what we say and the seeds of our deeds are scattered to the wind every day, in every way, wherever we go. Let’s make them good seeds! Something more beautiful than butterflies depend on them: God’s creature He loves most of all – people!
Back in the Old Testament times the prophet Zechariah, upon seeing nothing but the foundation of the Lord’s temple in place, gave a word of encouragement and hope when he stated, “Who dares despise the day of small things…?” (Zechariah 4:10)