We read books. We tilled the ground. We added compost. We read more books. We ordered heirloom seeds. We read more books. We planted. Then we waited...
Five days later, little sprigs of green began to appear in our plot. What is that? Are those weeds? No! Weeds don't grow in straight lines...
It's a miracle! Our seeds sprouted!
We told people of the amazing events that were occurring in our garden and they looked at us like we were idiots.
"Duh. That's what happens when you plant a seed."
We were simple and childlike in our surprise and glee over our garden accomplishments, like children at a magic show wondering, how did he do that? Now, we are feeling a little stupid. What exactly did we think was going to happen? Seed germination is nothing new; it's happening all around us all the time. It is the stuff of kindergarten classrooms (literally, this is what my 5 year old is currently learning in school). We should be a little more sophisticated, shouldn't we?
The more I think about it, though, there is something beautiful and wonderful about experiencing such things as new again. Yes, even the most basic among us can stick a seed in the dirt, add some water and watch it grow. But there is a miracle going on and it's good for us to stop and wonder at it once in awhile.
" He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head." (Mark 4:26-28, NIV)
Or, as my favorite Baptist explains it (doesn't everyone have a favorite Baptist?):
Can you make a seed germinate? You may place it under circumstances of damp and heat which will cause it to swell and break forth with a shoot, but the germination itself is beyond you. How is it done? We know not. After the germ has been put forth, can you make it further grow, and develop its life into leaf and stem? No; that, too, is out of your power. And when the green, grassy blade has been succeeded by the ear, can you ripen it? It will be ripened; but can you do it? Yon know yon cannot; you can have no finger in the actual process, though you may promote the conditions under which it is produced. Life is a mystery; growth is a mystery; ripening is a mystery: and these three mysteries are as fountains sealed against all intrusion.1
As do many things in nature and life, these "small" miracles happening around us everyday point us to the greater more important things in life - the things that really matter. An ugly seed, gathered from a dead, dried up plant, can be transformed into something new and green and lovely.
Praise be to God, who makes all things new, even our garden, and even me.
1 Spurgeon, Charles H.:Spurgeon's Sermons: Volume 27. electronic ed. Albany, OR : Ages Software, 1998 (Logos Library System; Spurgeon's Sermons 27)