Once upon a time, a little over a hundred years ago, there was a man named John Chapman. He has gone down in American folklore as Johnny Appleseed. He went around the Midwest planting apple seeds. Then he would move on to a different place and plant more seeds. Soon there were apple trees growing across Nebraska. How many of these trees did he get to see? I donít know. But he did not plant the trees so he could see the results. He planted the seeds because the trees needed planting.
It is the same with us and the gospel. We are not going to convert the world overnight. In most cases we (that is, the gospel we teach) will not convert one person overnight. But that does not mean we must not plant the seeds--not that we can see the results, but because they need to be planted. We may never see the result of our seed. We move on. Other people also. We may never know, now, whether the seed germinated or not. That doesnít matter. PLANT THE SEED.
"But how do I plant the seed? Iím not a teacher?" Think again. A person can talk for hours about the Cubs chances of winning the pennant next season, or the relative merits of the continental stitch over the half cross stitch in needlepoint. Why is it so hard to talk about the most important thing in your life? (Or is Christ really the most important?) You donít have to know all about the Bible. You donít need to plant a whole forest in one person. Just PLANT A SEED.
Original thinking helps. A simple tract mailed in your monthly bills may plant a seed many miles away. After all, they mail tractsadvertisingto you with the bills. A commuter on a bus hands his Bible (or pre-printed cards with scriptures on them) to the person sitting next to him and asks that person to read along to check his memorization of a few (well selected) passages of scripture. A letter or e-mail to a friend that you just canít manage to talk to about the Bible face to face may be all it takes. There are many ways, limited only by our imagination--and our love--to plant a seed. What matters is not how you plant a seed, but that you PLANT A SEED.
Nor does it matter whether anyone recognizes you for planting it. It would be nice to be called "Johnny Gospelseed," but that is not the reason to do it either. The reason is because we need to PLANT A SEED.
"I planted, ...but God gave the growth." (1 Cor 3:6)
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Timothy O'Hearn, 737 Monell Dr NE, Albuquerque NM 87123
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