It's officially over; today was my last day. Whoa. While I am trying to figure out where ten weeks went so quickly, allow me to share an insight from my final day of work.
Every Thursday, we set out all of the resources our volunteers will need for Sunday mornings. It's a piece of the weekly rhythm I have become quite familiar with. This being a Thursday, I resourced. It struck me that I was preparing supplies for events in the future that I would not get to see. I was equipping volunteers, even though I do not necessarily know who is leading this Sunday, for success in the future. Planting seeds, if you will. I will be on the trail by the time those resources are used, so I will not see them in action or maybe the immediate fruits of that labor, but I can trust that Daddy will use them.
This is a metaphor for so many things in life. So often, especially in ministry, especially in children's ministry, we do work equivalent to planting seeds. The stories we tell kids, the ways we interact with them and our co-workers, the truth we speak over them, and the ways we love them plant seeds in their little hearts about who God is and who His people are. Though we may not immediately see the fruit of our work (which can be rather frustrating), God is keeping careful watch over those baby plants, and knows exactly when they will bloom and produce fruit.
I certainly have a handful of memories from early childhood that the people involved probably would have considered small in the moment, but they helped define the way I understood people, God, and the way the world works. Small seeds, but with big impacts over time.
Consider what sort of fruit you plant in the lives of those you interact with. Perhaps first impressions you leave and what those look like in the future when people find out you love Jesus. Perhaps how you treat coworkers in front of your kids, or how you interact with cashiers, waiters, and custodians. I have a friend who is incredibly friendly to those who are often taken for granted, like custodians and cashiers, and she changed the way I think about those interactions. Because of her over-the-top friendliness in just a handful of moments when I was around her in those situations, I consciously try to emulate that every time I interact with people I do not know. She unknowingly planted small seeds, but they have definitely made a considerable dent in my day-to-day (and I doubt she knows that).
So I encourage you to consider the types of seeds you plant. Consider if people know what you stand for by how you live, and if not, perhaps address why that might be. It certainly will be food for thought on the trail for me this coming week.