Sowing Seeds

I am not typically very excited about email forwards. The jokes get old. The political banter is often misinformed or simply laced with bitterness. The pleas to help find lost children are almost always hoaxes. And, my least favorite - the "spiritually inspired" forwards that end with a command to forward to everyone you know if you are not ashamed to show that you love God, or a promise that in exchange for forwarding your prayers about money will be answered in 10 minutes.

But, sometimes, something comes over that is provoking and inspired. I received one of those today and I had to share it with you all.

An excerpt from "The Strangest Secret"
by Earl Nightingale

George Bernard Shaw said, "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, they make them."

Well, it's pretty apparent, isn't it? And every person who discovered this believed (for a while) that he was the first one to work it out. We become what we think about.

Conversely, the person who has no goal, who doesn't know where he's going, and whose thoughts must therefore be thoughts of confusion, anxiety and worry - his life becomes one of frustration, fear, anxiety and worry. And if he thinks about nothing... he becomes nothing.

How does it work? Why do we become what we think about? Well, I'll tell you how it works, as far as we know. To do this, I want to tell you about a situation that parallels the human mind.

Suppose a farmer has some land, and it's good, fertile land. The land gives the farmer a choice; he may plant in that land whatever he chooses. The land doesn't care. It's up to the farmer to make the decision.

We're comparing the human mind with the land because the mind, like the land, doesn't care what you plant in it. It will return what you plant, but it doesn't care what you plant.

Now, let's say that the farmer has two seeds in his hand- one is a seed of corn, the other is nightshade, a deadly poison. He digs two little holes in the earth and he plants both seeds-one corn, the other nightshade. He covers up the holes, waters and takes care of the land...and what will happen? Invariably, the land will return what was planted.

As it's written in the Bible, "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."

Remember the land doesn't care. It will return poison in just as wonderful abundance as it will corn. So up come the two plants - one corn, one poison.

The human mind is far more fertile, far more incredible and mysterious than the land, but it works the same way. It doesn't care what we plant...success...or failure. A concrete, worthwhile goal...or confusion, misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and so on. But what we plant must return to us.

You see, the human mind is the last great unexplored continent on earth. It contains riches beyond our wildest dreams. It will return anything we want to plant.

And now two questions:

1. What circumstances in your life are you working to change, with concrete goals and a road map?

I could not help but think of my "goals" for my own fitness to be in a better place. I hear the voices in my head complaining about where I have landed in my fitness routine, and yet, I continue to choose sleep, internet time, reading, or just fatigue over making that shift.

2. What seeds are you spending your time sowing, watering and harvesting? What will be the return for you and your family?

I love the image of our actions (or inaction) being the seeds that we are sowing. I think of my children and how my discipline, nurturing, and direction is going to influence their "garden". The fruit of my parenting hangs on their tree right before my eyes (and before everyone else's too). I want to sow seeds of life, love, grace, patience, creativity, and boundaries that reflect my love.

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