The importance of sowing

The importance of sowing

I am currently smack dab in the middle of this time in a therapist’s life called Registered Internship. It is a time where grad school has finished (thank You, Jesus) but you are not yet licensed. It is this in-between time, this time of transition. Often, it is viewed as a segment of life that one wants to pass through as quickly as possible, licensure being the ultimate goal. We have all had times like these, whether it be the 9 months before a new baby is born, the training time as you begin a new career, the unknowns of buying and selling your first house, or medical appointments with no clear diagnosis yet.

 

So what do we do in this time in-between? Between our origin and our so called destination? Besides focusing so much on the destination and what it might look like that our own anxiety runs rampant?

You can sow.

You can ready the soil, sow the seed you wish to plant.

What would that look like for you? What would it look like to be intentional with your day to day activities, including having time to rest? What would it look like to reach the destination one day and NOT be burnt out from the journey?

Most importantly, this time of transition invites us to slow down. Sowing takes time. A harvest does not come up from nothing.

It takes discipline. It takes patience. It takes consistency.

We are taught in America that we can have what we want within moments. What used to take months or years now takes minutes. So it makes sense that this pattern would then be expected to transfer to other areas of our lives. However, our growth, maturity, and change does not happen overnight. It takes time.

I was challenged recently to look at a story from the book of Nehemiah in the Bible. Nehemiah goes to Jerusalem with the intent of rebuilding the city’s walls. Verse 11 says this, “I went to Jerusalem…”. That is the extent that Nehemiah discusses his trip. However, if you look at where Nehemiah began and where Jerusalem was, the man walked close to 1,000 miles. Let’s review that again, shall we? He WALKED a 1,000 MILES. I walk a few and am ready for a nap. Doing the math, if he didn’t stop to sleep, eat, or rest, it still would have taken him around 14 days to get to Jerusalem. I’m assuming he did all of the above to not be burnt out when he got there (and to still be alive).

He took the journey. It would not have been perfectly smooth. It would not have been a piece of cake, and there was no car or airplane to help him get there quicker. He had no idea what Jerusalem would look like since their defensive wall had been destroyed. He had no idea what he was walking in to, yet he took the time to take the journey.

I wonder what that time was like. How did he change and grow? How was he challenged and what did he have to overcome? In what ways did he have to rely on God for more than just food?

Sowing takes time. We can rush through the unknown to reach our supposed destination, but what will we have missed along the way? Will we be burnt out and exhausted upon reaching it? If so, what good does that do us? What are we trying to prove?

The quality of the sowing you do impacts the harvest. If you haphazardly throw the seeds around hoping they stick, or plant as many as possible as quickly as possible, or only plant when it feels convenient to you, your harvest may not be as bountiful. However, if you take the time to learn how to sow the seeds, which ones you want to sow, how they need to be taken care of and watered, and how to ready the field properly, you might be surprised.

Taking the time to sow new seed is also scary. You never know how the harvest will turn out. Here’s what I’ve learned though: I’d rather take the time to slow down. I’d rather take the risk of planting the seed well and choosing new types of seed, than rushing through only thinking about the final result. I learn more. I grow more. I rest more. I also become more disciplined and consistent, kinder, and more loving.

There is a joy that comes when a new little seedling emerges. When a new little leaf begins to bloom. However, if we are so focused on the destination that we miss it, we might end up missing more than just seeing a leaf open. We end up missing the moments that make life beautiful. The little ones that we never forget.

And who knows. Maybe the destination you have been so focused on is actually very different than you think. Maybe the quality of the destination, or the time you get to spend there, is all based upon how you sowed during the moments when no one was watching.

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