The Power of a Seed!
April is my birthday month, and this birthday was a BIG ONE. I turned thirty-five this year . . . well . . . to be fair, thirty-five, Two. Times. Over! YIKES! The mere thought of it nearly sent me into a tailspin. But I’ve never been one to give up without a fight, so I determined that I would NOT let these daunting digits (seven and zero) get the better of me. My plan was to walk the number of my years in miles the week before my 70th birthday . . . you know . . . just to show those dastardly digits who’s boss.
Well, I showed ’em who’s boss, alright! I blew the top off my ambitious goal by walking a whopping 112 miles that week! In fact, during the month of April, I walked OVER 500,000 meters! It was as if I had said, “TAKE THAT, you lying birth certificate and driver’s license!”
Perhaps it was just an honest mistake . . . an age-doubling computer virus or some technological hiccup. But what if it was the mischievous machination of a disgruntled government employee. Hmm . . . Foul-up or foul play? No matter which one. I killed it!
To this point, all we have here is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek, human-interest story offering little more value than extolling the personal health benefits of walking and the satisfaction that comes from achieving a robust goal.
But that is merely the backstory. You see, there is more to this story than the feat of my feet. Much more! And I’m not talking simply about the personal spiritual benefits of worship, prayer and meditation that so easily can accompany the activity of walking. I’m talking about a shining moment for sowing spiritual “seed.” Here’s how it happened.
It was the 27th day of my age-defying walking spree, and I was ambulating briskly with eyes focused on what typically is the midpoint of my walk (the Pennsylvania State Capitol building), when I noticed a group of teens & preteens pointing at me and yelling something that sounded like three words. Unfortunately, the sounds of cars passing on the street made the words annoyingly unintelligible, so I kept asking them to repeat what they were saying as I kept drawing nearer to them.
When I was finally face-to-face with this line-up of six sharp-looking kids, I asked what they were saying. They said, “An-drew Tate!” “Are you Andrew Tate?” I said, “No.” They said, “Are you famous?” I said “No.”
I should note two things here: first, that I had no clue who Andrew Tate was and second, that for reasons of comfort and the sun’s tanning rays, I had been carrying my shirt, not wearing it. As it turns out, Andrew Tate is a British-American social media personality who had achieved a good amount of fame as a champion kickboxer. As for me, my intense exercise regimen and carb-busting diet had me in the best shape of my life—seriously. I could see that God’s precious young people were eyeing me over in disbelief (some truly believed I was Andrew Tate), so I felt prompted to ask them, “How old do you think I am?” One said, “50.” Another, “30.” I said, “I’ll be 70 this Sunday. Seven-Zero!” Now they were REALLY in disbelief.
Suddenly I realized that I had a congregation of six right there on the street, all lined up as if they were front-row parishioners. Amid their syncopated shouts of “No Way!” I gazed intently at each one of them and said, “Never smoked! Never been drunk! Never did drugs! Self-discipline! And [pointing above] God’s grace!” Now, because they had asked me if I had heard of Andrew Tate, I figured a question from me was fair game, especially now that I had their careful attention and evident admiration. The soil had been furrowed for the seed.
If you know me personally or follow me on Facebook, you already know the question I posed. That’s right! “Have you all heard of THE CHOSEN?” “No,” they all responded. So I quickly gave them my elevator speech about The Chosen and encouraged them to watch it with their parents. After complimenting them on what an impressive group they were and promising to google Andrew Tate, I continued on my way toward the Capitol. As I was leaving them, I heard them chanting their three-syllable “An-drew Tate” [to help me remember]. I turned to face them and responded, with a tri-syllabic “Watch The Chosen!” As I turned to continue walking, our antiphonal chanting continued another three or four measures until fadeout. I couldn’t help thinking . . . the soil has been prepared. The seed has been planted. Now the “watering” (prayer) and the “sunlight” (the Holy Spirit’s wooing) begin.
Now that you know THE REAL STORY, will you join me by offering a prayer for these kids, and again, should the Holy Spirit later bring this story to your remembrance? I believe eternity will reveal what God accomplishes in the lives of the six youngsters that I met by God’s design on the 27th day of my walking spree.