Summary: We have seeds of righteousness to plant so we can have a harvest for the Lord. My son’s collection of acorns taught me something about potential. Article from wit4life.com
My five-year old boy has started a little habit. At recess he hunts acorns on the playground and fills his pockets with them. At home he takes them out to show me. The other day it seemed incredibly poignant to me all of a sudden. Not just for him, but for us all, I think.
Nathan is autistic, so he struggles everyday with many things most of us take for granted. We, as his family, struggle too along with him. Things like speaking, a change in his environment, certain sounds, interruptions in his plans or routine and a host of other things often cause him great frustration, fear, anxiety, or turmoil. He cannot readily communicate these emotions and his actions and reactions get extreme and even volatile. He is a smart boy and his thoughts are increasingly complex like many typical five year olds. Regrettably, he is largely unable to reveal them to us, ask any clarifying questions or negotiate an improved situation in his times of need. Still as he grows, I see that he’s picking up acorns for later. He is learning, though very slowly at times, to live in a world he perceives quite differently than we do.
I don’t know what Nathan’s future is going to be like. Will children ever want to play with him for any length of time? Will he ever make and keep any close friends? Will he always struggle to learn? Will he find a suitable mate one day? Will he one day obtain and be able to keep a good job? Maybe; maybe not. These are acorns right now for him. But like others in Nathan’s life, I see potential. I see the strong oak tree my “little acorn” could become, with a lot of hard work from him and everybody else helping him, of course. The boy has excellent seeds that need to be planted, nourished and cared for. He also has some bad seeds too, as we all do. These seeds can germinate in his life and produce unkindness, stubbornness, self-centeredness, rage, or poor self-esteem.
All the good things and bad things in us start out as seeds. Seeds either lead to wisdom or to folly. We have to take great care to cultivate the good acorns of our character and take equal amounts of diligence to eradicate the bad acorns that cause all manner of problems and strife. All children have a pocket full of acorns. As we grow up, we have fewer acorns and more seedlings. Those are harder to rid from ourselves when they are wicked. They are also harder to care for when they are righteous. They need tending like a tender plant does.
Each day we choose which we will cultivate. Galatians 6:8 says, “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” So much is at stake in this kind fo garden!
We have the potential and the power from God through His Spirit to become mature like Christ. What a picture of strength and maturity--a beautiful oak giving glory to God. Imitating Him we begin growing from a seed to a sapling to a mighty oak in the fullness of God as we reveal His love from the overflow of our hearts.
How does this come about? Well, it takes time, just like a mighty oak comes to be. We must delight ourselves in God’s ways. We must meditate on his decrees continually. See the picture the psalmist paints so well in Psalm 1:2-3: “But his (a righteous person) delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.” The Lord and his ways are the water, the source of nourishment for all our little saplings.
We have a wealth of fruits for the Lord that may just store in our pockets like dormant kernels. Do we act like gardeners for our acorns and the acorns of others? Do we purposefully cultivate potential? I think we must. 2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us to sow righteousness abundantly: “Remember this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
Ask yourself: How can I produce oak trees for the Lord from seedlings? What am I doing to ensure a robust harvest for Him? I challenge you to dig in your heart. Root out the bad seeds, then plant and cultivate the good ones. And please, never forget to drink from the water of God’s Word to grow stronger in Him.