In the thirty years married to my farmer husband, we’ve seen significant change in the ag industry. So have you. And though tiny seeds sprouting into new life is an unchanging, humbling miracle, the timing of when seed sales representatives show up is in flux.
They used to go door to door in February to highlight the company’s top-producing varieties from the previous harvest. Then seed sales came at the heels of harvest, after the equipment was parked for the season. Today sales reps drop into combines through cell phones or in person to ask farmers to plan for a year they’re too preoccupied to think about because they’re in the harvest hub.
And though farmers have a variety of needs and preferences, they don’t need a seed representative to remind them what they already know. How, what, and when you plant is critical to the harvest. Although the harvest has a unique adrenaline all its own, it’s the careful, intentional planting of the seed that matters most.
Farmers get that. As do people outside of the farming industry. Within a phone conversation with Cecelia, who lives within an inner city on the East coast, she shared the story of her church. There are only 35 members, most of them senior saints. Yet every Wednesday night they host a supper for the community followed by an opportunity for Bible study for the very young through adults. Most of the adults clear their plates and leave. Most of the kids stay. And at the end of the night they cross the street to the low-income housing complex they call home.
Then on Sunday mornings those kids return. They often arrive late and are usually alone. So volunteers from the small church stand at the crosswalk to ensure their safety.
And though I couldn’t see Cecelia, her passion for the next generation was clear and certain. “We may never see what happens to the seeds that are being planted and watered,” she said. “We just don’t know, but we won’t stop.” Because those kids are starving for more than food. They are hungering for a safe place to belong and experience love.
Whether in soil or souls, planting matters. There is no harvest without the hard work of tiling and putting seed to soil.
In his book, The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn, he writes that every seed is a potential miracle. “Each one is filled with the potential for life, growth, blossoming, and fruitfulness. It’s all there in the seed—the plan, everything it will become, the plant, the flower, the tree. It’s all there inside its shell.”
Leave corn and soybean seeds in bags or bulk, and it produces nothing. Neglect opportunities to plant love and hope into the next generation, and it reaps the same.
We talk about what’s gone awry with the next generation. We wonder what the future holds, and may even determine to get involved. But good intentions don’t change lives, nor does thinking that children or youth are someone else’s problem or responsibility. Whether actively engaged in ag or not, we must be part of planting hope and truth into kids.
Each child is a seed packed with possibility and promise. And though so many elements seem to be working against them, we can be for them. Instead of focusing on the brokenness we see, we can show them who we see them becoming.
Though you may not appreciate the timing of your seed sales rep, we need them. The harvest depends on it. Greater still, our kids need us. Let’s be as relentless in opening doors and encouraging the next generation to plant what is good.