February 1, 2008
“…Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how…” (Mark 4:27)
When I preached in Davao City on November 2006 before a huge crowd of 7,000 people, I did not expect to see at the bleacher, a row of men and women who were significant to me during my growing up years. Sure, they were quite older now but their smiles and their voices still succeeded in bringing back a flood of childhood memories. After my talk, they greeted me backstage with several firm handshakes and tight embraces.
My elementary school teachers: They all came that day to see their former student preach.
“We’re so proud of you, Bob. Thank you.”, one of them remarked. She was my religion teacher.
I smiled at her and took her hand, “No, ma’am. Thank you. It is I who should thank you.”
And I meant what I said that day. I truly thanked all of them, especially my religion teacher, for all those years of “planting” that they did in my life. For believing in me. For being patient with me. For preparing their lesson plans well. For going the extra mile even after class to counsel me. Today, I am who I am because they planted well.
I thank God even as I thank my teachers today. For even if they planted well, it would all be in vain if God did not allow the seed to grow. I am pretty sure that at some point during my elementary years, perhaps at the highest point of my naughtiness and recklessness, it crossed their minds that maybe I would not amount to anything and all their efforts would be for naught. But despite this real possibility, they never stopped planting all the important lessons I needed to learn about life, especially the lessons pertaining to our faith.
The gospel reading today reverberates in my heart as I think of my teachers: the tireless planters of faith in my life.
“…Whether he is asleep or awake, be it day or night, the seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how…” (Mark 4:27).
Friend, I challenge you to plant seeds of faith in the life of those around you: your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your students, your subordinates, your friends. And you may not see the fruits of what you do now. But believe me, someday, somehow, you will. Because even if you sleep, God doesn’t. And the God who doesn’t sleep will provide the seed with what it needs to grow: the water of love, the sunlight of hope and cultivation of faith. And in due time (in fact, in God’s time), if you are tireless in your planting efforts, you will be able to see the fruits of your labor.
By the way, one of my teachers that day cracked a joke. She said, “Bobby! You are now a preacher! It’s a miracle!There is indeed a God!”
I guess she was right.
Have a blessed day!
I remain, your friend in Christ,