“I have a mustard seed, and I am not afraid to use it.”
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI
I’m no gardening expert, but I can facilitate some decent pots on the front stoop and keep them going until about mid-August. With all the time at home this year, I decided I would branch out and attempt a more extensive vegetable garden. A spot in the backyard seemed to have the right amount of sun. Miraculously, I assembled a small raised bed from the random wood I had lying around the house. Emboldened by this incredible accomplishment, I ventured out to Home Depot with the kids to select the cornucopia of fresh vegetables we would grow. "Well you must have a nice size garden," said the associate as he checked us out. I experienced a brief moment of concern as I recalled silently to myself that our raised bed was about 3ft by 2ft. After planting my tomatoes and cucumbers, my bell peppers, strawberries, and eggplant, I FaceTimed a friend, who lives in the heartland, to show him my tilling of the soil. As he looked at my achievement, his face was one that a parent has when their toddler has decided to make themselves pretty with mommy’s nail polish or clean the family car with rocks. "Friend, you might want to space them out a little more and provide some structures so they don’t grow over each other," he said with kind patience.
Returning from vacation in July, I discovered a mound of indecipherable leaves with very little fruit. As I sifted through the leaves, searching desperately for the chance of just one strawberry, I couldn’t help but think about the advice I give leaders all the time that I completely failed to follow in this endeavor – prioritize and plan. In my life, leadership, and faith, am I allowing enough space for things to grow? Am I putting the right structures in place to enable things to develop the right way and bear fruit? Growth of activity doesn’t necessarily equate to achieving my mission. Even with good activity, am I crowding out the Lord? Prayers for abundant fruit from what the He is planting in you this season.