Once, when my daughter was five years old, her Sunday School teacher gave her a lily bulb. The instructions were to put it in the ground and, in several weeks, a shoot would appear and become a beautiful flower. We chose a place and Kathy planted her treasure. The next day, she ran to check on the progress. Nothing showed above the dirt so she dug up the bulb to see how it was doing. After we talked about how God makes the flowers grow, we planted it again. Later, I found Kathy spading the dirt around the spot to check the plant once more. It took several tries to convince her that her job was to plant the bulb and then leave it alone and give it a chance to grow. Nowadays children in kindergarten plant beans. Beans are guaranteed to produce visible results in 24-48 hours.
We are amused a a child’s impatience, but are we different? We want fast solutions to our problems, quick results from our efforts, instant answers to our prayers. We find it difficult to leave it alone and let God take care of it in his own time.
So, before we become concerned about the status of a project, let us think: did we plant beans or bulbs? Beans grow very fast and make lots of other beans. Next year, if we want more beans, we plant beans again. Bulbs grow much slower, but they are long lasting, often returning voluntarily year after year. Both have value and there are many reasons for planting either. But we shouldn’t expect bean results when we plant bulbs.
From Every Day a New Day and other short stories. (c) 2006