Everything changes when you see beyond the seed…
“Come with me,” the old gardener beckoned. “I want to show you something.”
I walked through the gate of the old moss and vine-covered brick fence and entered his magical living world. I followed him along a stone path and marveled at the hundreds of plant varieties bursting with dazzling color.
The path took us beside a vegetable garden and he pointed out each plant as we passed it: tomatoes, corn, beans, carrots, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, dozens more.
We ended up in front of a weathered wooden shed. He brought me inside, took his gloves off, and pulled packets from off a shelf and shook something into his palm.
“Look here,” he said, holding out his hand. “What do you see?”
I squinted my eyes to see the tiny particles he held in his hand. “Uh, I guess they look like seeds.”
“Yes, yes, they are seeds,” he agreed. “But what do you see?”
Confused, I repeated, “I see seeds.”
“Look closer!” he urged.
I shrugged my shoulders. “That’s all I see.”
He shook his head and snorted in frustration. “You’ve just walked through my garden. And that’s all you see? That is why you are bored with your life. That is why you do not live in a state of constant wonder. That is why you do not accomplish great things.”
“Come,” he said, grabbing my arm and pulling me outside, where he took us back to the vegetable garden.
“See this?” he pointed to one of the seeds in his palm. “You see a little speck of nothing. It could be a rock for all you care. But when I look at that speck, I see this,” and he pointed to a tomato plant full of huge, red tomatoes.
“Look at this one,” he pointed to another seed. “You see a meaningless little kernel. But I see this,” and he pointed to a row of tall stocks of corn, each stock burdened with several ears of corn, the golden silk glistening in the sunlight.
He repeated the exercise with several more seeds, and the lesson began to dawn on me.
He saw the light turn on in my eyes.
“You see? That, my friend is vision — seeing not just the seeds, but what the seeds can become. And vision is the secret pill, the magic elixir of all success. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, ‘The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.’ If you can look at an acorn and see a forest, I guarantee that you will create and achieve great things. But sadly, most people only see acorns.”
I nodded my understanding.
But he shook his head impatiently. “No, you still don’t get it.”
He placed the seeds back into the packet and put the packet into his breast pocket. He looked up at me then and placed his hand on my chest.
“This isn’t about vegetable seeds,” he said reverently. “It’s about the seed you have in your heart. Embedded inside each plant seed is a divinely-coded program that determines what that seed will become, if cultivated properly.
“The Creator of all seeds placed the seed of purpose into the soil of your heart. But it is up to you to cultivate, nourish, protect, and harvest that seed. What that seed will grow into is your purpose.
“The most important vision you can have is a vision of who you can become. If you can see the seed, you can see the plant and the fruit. And if you can see the plant and the fruit, you will cultivate the seed with tender care and vigilant consistency.
“And this is why so few people ever discover and live their God-given purpose. They do not see their purpose-seed, and even if they do, very few people cultivate it properly and it withers and dies.”
“So how can I see and cultivate my seed?” I wondered out loud.
“An old friend of mine, Steve D’Annunzio, says that your Soul Purpose seed consists of three parts:
- An awareness of your natural talents and gifts cultivated to serve others in a
- career that you know you can be one of the best in the world at doing,
- driving an economic engine that provides sufficiency.
“So your seed is what you’re interested in, what you’re passionate about, what comes naturally to you.
“Once you discover that seed, you have to plant it in the fertile soil of service –in other words, value creation for others. If you can’t find a way to create value for others with your seed, then it will never sprout.
“And finally, profit is what waters and fertilizes your seed. Without that ongoing nourishment, it’s unsustainable to continue growing your seed.”
He left me there pondering his words, and I recalled a Shakespeare stanza I had read:
“If you can look into the seeds of time, and say which grain will grow and which will not, speak them unto me.”