The Joy of New Growth

Daily Devotion for Thursday, July 23, 2020 from Rev. Dr. Eric Douglass

Mark 4:26-29: “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

When you were a child, did your mom make you do science experiments? Mine did. I remember the experiment where we planted some seeds in a plastic cup. After watering the soil, we put the cup on the windowsill in full sunlight. My mom told me that if I watched the cup, little green shoots would magically emerge from the ground. So I watched that cup…for about five minutes…nothing popped up. I went back to the cup in ten minutes…no shoots. I went back that afternoon…no magic. I went back before bedtime…no surprises. I went back the next morning when I woke up (still in my pajamas!)…nothing. After that I got bored, and went out to play…baseball in the morning, and tag at night. On the way to bed, I looked at the cup…it was still on my windowsill, and there was still no green.

As my boredom deepened, so did my skepticism. After all, moms are always talking about things that might happen: if you go out in the road, you might get hit…if you eat your vegetables, you’ll grow up. But lots of times I went out in the road, and had no problems. And, from the best I could tell, I was still a scrawny eight-year-old boy, with no hopes of suddenly looking like a muscular teenager. This was just another of those times when I expected mom to say: “I said it, so it’s true.”

Then one morning, as I was putting on my shirt, a wisp of green caught my eye: tiny shoots had magically emerged. I raced over to the windowsill and examined each shoot. I grabbed my magnifying glass. I counted the number of leaves. I drowned them in water. I carried them to the brightest spot in my room. I laughed and laughed at the glory of surprise. And the sprouts…they just kept coming up.

We have long forgotten the surprise of growth. We have seen it happen so often—in our yards and gardens—that it no longer feels like magic. It has become familiar…common…everyday. But it hasn’t to God. God still gets up every morning and races over to the cup on the windowsill, magnifying glass in hand, looking for the surprise of new shoots. God still waters the soil and carries it to the brightest spot in the room

And out among the stars, we hear laughter.

Our Lord:

We forget the joy of new growth.

The everydayness of our metamorphosis

blinds us to the wonder of becoming

the sons and daughters of God.

Yet you see us as the brilliant daisies of the field,

white gold, sparkling in the sun,

stalks growing straight and tall,

dancing in the wind…

Till we become the harvest of God.


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