It is that time of year…for the promises of spring, for young people to blossom into adults, for proms and graduations and new beginnings. I attended a Confirmation of two twin boys who I watched grow up in my neighborhood from babies to teens. They are fortunate to have good parents who love and support them in their growth not only physically but spiritually. I was moved by the church ceremony when the pastor placed his hands on each confirmation candidate and read: “Stir up in (name of Confirmand) the gift of your Holy Spirit: the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, the spirit of joy in your presence both now and forever. Amen.” I realized then and there that each of these young people have seeds of greatness in them.
But how often do we, as adults, realize there are still seeds of greatness in us just waiting to be cultivated? Earlier Sunday morning, getting ready for the church ceremony, I caught the words of Dr. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries who was preaching on his weekly television show about having faith in God’s will, plan and purpose for our lives. He said (to paraphrase) that God truly does have a specific purpose and plan for each of us and the sooner we discover and follow it, the happier and more fulfilled we will be. He said it’s a shame so many people live their lives, sometimes reaching near the end, only to realize they don’t really know what that purpose is, wondering what life was really all about and feeling sad they wasted so much time not asking, knowing, nor cultivating their gifts and talents, and not growing.
I feel like I have finally found out – and am following – one of God’s purposes for my life: to write Modern Day Bible Stories, contemporary Bible-based novels that “re-imagine” Old Testament stories so that today’s readers can realize God’s messages in them through entertaining fiction. But I recently discovered another “seed” or calling I believe God is trying to reveal to me: helping other writers become authors. And so I have embarked on a new venture, teaching people how to write their own books, and helping them edit, publish and market those books so that they too can fulfill God’s plan and purpose for their own lives. Trust me, I have balked each time I heard these “callings,” telling God “I can’t do it, I’m not equipped, it’s too much work…” etc. etc. Kind of like many of the prophets and saints did back in the day! But I am beginning to see that once God plants the seed, He isn’t going to let it die!
Which brings me to my favorite Bible passage from Saint Paul, which I hope will inspire you today like it does me: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined…And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” (Romans 8:28-30)
He does the planting, and watering and harvesting. Often, all we have to do is face the sun!