I’m not known for possessing any particular skills when it comes to gardening (unless mowing the lawn counts). I have learnt, however, that some things I have striven to grow take time. Much time.
Earlier this year, I received a call from a man who attended Avondale in the 1980s. While not being from a Christian background, he lived on campus, enjoyed completing a business degree and even valued the spiritual flavour. He called after attending the funeral of one of his Avondale lecturers. As he listened to stories from former classmates, he found himself reliving his experiences and a yearning grew for the faith he’d seen in others during his time at Avondale. He’d phoned to let me know he now wished to pursue a personal faith journey and desired the Seventh-day Adventist Church to be a part of it. Some seeds take time to grow.
The 17th century poet, John Davies, writing in the particular style of his time, expressed it this way:
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed
The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the spring shall blow
Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth.
(Ode to the West Wind)
May we never be discouraged when the work to which God calls us appears to have less results than we deem it should. Seeds that may appear forever cocooned can at God’s appointed time transform into the beauty they were destined to be. As the philosopher Richard Fuller once observed, “There’s nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it is going to be a butterfly.” May we see the potential in others through God’s eyes and strive in His strength to be faithful to our call.