Faith is a topic I am very familiar with, and yet am constantly learning about. Lately I have really enjoyed Alma 32 because it is encouraging to me and has so many great parts. Yesterday my two boys played with a friend and then spent the night with their cousin. With my freedom, I was able to work on a few projects that I am not quite ready to share – one of which is opening my Calyco Healing work on a larger level to make it available to more people.
These projects began as little ideas in my mind – a seed was planted if you will. I have so many ideas come to my mind all the time and, although I try, I don’t follow through on all of them. I justify my lack of action by saying, “I have to pick and choose….I am only one person…I can’t do everything.” And so little seeds get planted, but because they do not get nourished, they never sprout and never bring forth fruit. As time goes by, I start to wonder if maybe my idea was not such a good idea after all…I wonder if maybe I was meant to do something else…maybe the idea was my own and not influenced by God at all? Is that even possible? I effectively cast out the seed and it becomes dormant.
However, if I nourish it just a little bit by taking steps toward accomplishing the idea, the seed can begin to swell and sprout. Much like a seed that is planted in the ground, these little idea seeds take a while to see the sprouts, and even longer to bear fruit. However, just because I can’t see the growth doesn’t mean it is not there.
As I worked on my special projects yesterday (sans kids), I was putting light and water on my little idea seeds. I was putting things in place for the ideas to grow and swell and eventually bear the fruit that I desire. After all, the whole point of planting a seed is to get the fruit at the end. (This is not to take away from the lessons that can be learned as the garden is growing.) My projects are big and will change the dynamic of my life and that of my family. Much good can come from the projects, but I can not yet fathom what the impact will be on my life. Sometimes, when I can’t see the finished product, it can be challenging to move forward. And so as I worked, I had little questions pop up. Is this really the direction I want to go? Can I really do this with my other responsibilities and activities? Am I taking on too much? The doubts became like little weeds in my garden. I decided to just keep working on the projects and see what happens – just because I put time and effort in doesn’t mean I have to move completely forward – is that another little weed popping up?
So this morning, I read Alma 32 and thought about my little (big) projects and my life. I started reading and decided to just say a quick prayer that I could just learn a little something. I liked verse 23 (it mentions angels) and thought that was my answer, but then I read 36 – 42.
36 Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye
have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experimentto know if the seed was good. (Working on my little projects, was just showing a little bit of faith. It is like I was just checking it out to see if it would work for me and if my interest is there.)
37 And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. (If I countinue to nourish my seeds, putting effort in, they will come to be all that they are meant to be.)
38 But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out. (If I don’t put effort in, it is neglect. And then if I decide the idea has no use for me, the seed does not take root, whithers away, and I discard it.)
39 Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof. (If my seeds do not take root, it is not because the ideas were not good – it is because I didn’t nourish it, did not put in the required effort and faith, and because I was not a good steward, I can’t have the fruit that would have resulted.)
40 And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life. (If I don’t put effort in, combined with faith, I will never see the fruits of my seeds come forth.)
41 But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life. (However, if I will nourish my seed, it will grow. I need to be patient, and eventually my tree will spring up.)
42 And because of your diligence and your faith and your patience with
the word in nourishing it, that it may take root in you, behold, by and by
ye shall pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet
above all that is sweet, and which is white above all that is white, yea,
and pure above all that is pure; and ye shall feast upon this fruit even
until ye are filled, that ye hunger not, neither shall ye thirst. (This sounds pretty good and is why I must nourish the seeds!)
I think at times we have opportunities and we can seize the day and take the opportunity, resulting in a different ride than our previous course would take us on. Other times, we take the opportunity and go down the path a little ways only to find it was not what we thought it would be and our interest changes. Other times, we take an opportunity or plant a little seed, and we forget to nourish it, don’t put effort into it, or just ignore it all together even after committing, and the seed eventually dies (or gets transferred to someone else). I think it is sad when we have the opportunity and then have to ask ourselves, “What might have happened if I had seen the project through? What would I have learned?” Sometimes, abandoning ship is the right decision because circumstances and priorities do change. However, this time for me, I need to keep going for a little while and just weed out my doubts as I work to grow these little seeds.
Brad Wilcox says: “Doubts are not wrong; they can be a step toward right. Questions are not a sign of weakness but a sign of growth. Men are not wrong when they doubt but when they fail to do something about their doubts.” Just like a garden that flourishes when weeded, we must weed out our doubts as we plant our seeds!
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