When I was a little girl I can remember going to my uncle's allotment and picking dandelions that had gone to seed. We used to call them dandelion clocks because it was a game we played as children where the number of puffs needed to blow of all the little seeds was supposed to tell what time it was.
Now, as an adult and the tenant of a similar allotment plot, I cringe at the thought of playing this game because those little fluffy puffs of seeds become big tap roots that crowd out my vegetable seedlings!
It only takes a gentle breeze to scatter these tiny seeds into every nook and cranny and once they have fallen into the soil they are impossible to retrieve. You will often find me scrappling around on my hands and knees dead heading the yellow flowers because if I don't, the next day they become fluffy puffs waiting to distribute on the breeze.
By the way you haven't clicked on the Gardeners’ World blog by mistake and there is a point to my wandering down memory lane!
In Galatians 6 Paul talks about sowing seeds and choosing what seeds to sow - yes it really does! Let's have a look.
The harvest you reap reveals the seed that was planted. If you plant the corrupt seeds of self-life into this natural realm, you can expect to experience a harvest of corruption. If you plant the good seeds of Spirit-life you will reap the beautiful fruits that grow from the everlasting life of the Spirit.
Galatians 6:8 (The Passion Translation)
See I told you! Oh, ok, it doesn't talk about dandelion clocks but it does talk about reaping a harvest of what we sow. In this version of the scripture it says “if you sow corrupt seed of self-life into the natural realm you can expect to experience a harvest of corruption.”
If we think of those dandelion seeds as being thoughts, ideas, opinions that float in and out of our minds looking for a place to take root and become established we can see how our reactions and
responses to given situations are shaped.
Dandelion seeds, in fact any seeds, are only effective if they settle in soil and are allowed to grow. So what are we sowing in our thinking that we are allowing to grow and take root?
They might be anxious seeds, or pride seeds or self-righteous seeds. Seeds of competitiveness or greed. Or they could be seeds of low self-esteem and self-worth.
Now when I played that game as a child I had no idea that I was sowing pretty little harmless seeds that would eventually create a harvest of big fat dandelion roots for my uncle to dig out! How often do we sow, what we think are harmless, seeds in our thinking with no thought of what harvest they will produce?
I guess the question is do we think about what we are thinking about? By thinking about what we are thinking about we are choosing what seeds to sow and preventing ourselves from the hard job of pulling up big roots later on.
This scripture indicates we need to take responsibility for what we sow. What we think about. What we confess. However it goes on to say:
And don’t allow yourselves to be weary or disheartened in planting good seeds, for the season of reaping the wonderful harvest you’ve planted is coming! Take advantage of every opportunity to be a blessing to others, especially to our brothers and sisters in the family of faith!
We need to persevere with sowing good seed in full expectation of reaping good! Reading the Word,
meditating on it and allowing it to grow in us to produce good fruit in our lives.
So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honourable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.
Philippians 4:8 (The Passion Translation)
In recent years I have been sowing sunflower seeds at my allotment in memory of a friend. They grow extremely tall and have lovely big seed heads the size of dinner plates!
They make a statement! The reason they are named sunflowers is because they follow the sun. When the sun rises in the morning in the east the young sunflower head faces the east and follows the sun throughout the day until the sun sets in the west. The sun brings warmth and growth and the sunflowers grow tall as they reach towards the light.
So here's the challenge - are you a Son Flower? Are you a follower of the Son? Are you stretching out to Him? Do you have your thoughts fixed on Him from when you rise to when you sleep?
And those who are taught the Word must share all good things with their teacher; a sharing of wealth takes place between them.
Galatians 6:6 (The Passion Translation)
Sunflowers produce prolific seed which are nourishing and sustaining. As we sow good seed in our thought lives it doesn't just do me good it blesses those around me.
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that
overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit . Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.
Galatians 5:22-23 (The Passion Translation)
So - are you going to sow dandelions or sunflowers? What harvest are you going to reap?