"We must plant the seed and leave it undisturbed." -Haanel 7:27
I might have elevated to the status of amateur gardener by now, but I more likely may yet remain a novice. I still often find that my garden produces more growth at times when I leave town than when I'm regularly nearby. Like that child I am anxious. Is the soil fertile enough? Has the seed received enough water? Has it received too much water? Is it warm enough? Did I plant it right? Does the environment it is planted in provide the proper pH? Maybe I should go check…
"…we are too anxious; we manifest anxiety, fear, distress; we want to do something; we want to help; we are like a child who has just planted a seed and every fifteen minutes goes and stirs up the earth to see if it is growing. Of course, under such circumstances, the seed will never germinate, and yet this is exactly what many of us do in the mental world." -Haanel 7:26
Well, perhaps I am yet but a novice.
I've really pondered these comparisons to cultivating our inner work to determine how the overworked seed in the garden corresponds to tilling the soil, planting the seed and leaving it for a while in our inner world. Just as I overparent the seeds in my vegetable garden, I recognize I may be doing just the same in my inner "garden of life". As I design what I would like my life to be, I find the concurrent and pervasive anxiety over how I will carry out the measures to achieve these things. For that matter, what are the measures? As I ponder my vegetable garden the path becomes clearer.
Considering the garden at its most elemental and non-scientific early state, what really separates the seed from the rest of its surrounding detritus? Time and stillness! That seed can have ample food, water, heat, shade, sunlight, an all around perfect environment. But without stillness and time, its message, its life purpose to grow into all it was meant to become, will never come to pass! Indeed, its internal world will never have the pleasure of demonstrating the full potential of the beauty it was intended to reveal to the world. Without tranquil time, the identity of this seed will never have the opportunity to take root and will instead remain lost in the shuffle of its chaotic environment. And so it is with me and you.
I challenge us collectively to take this idea into our quiet contemplative times. For our greatest intended imprint on the world to be fully realized, we must allow the seed of our definite major purpose to germinate. It must take root. And I have to believe the rest will develop at the proper times.