Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997), the Roman Catholic nun who lived most of her life in the poverty of India, is long remembered and admired as someone who quietly gave of herself to so many people in need during her lifetime. She wholeheartedly served anyone in whom God put into her field of vision.
Towards the end of her life, someone found a great poem hung on the wall of her children’s home in Calcutta that Mother Teresa would read each day. It reads as follows:
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
In the Parable of the Sower in Matthew 13:3-8, Jesus gives a parable to a large crowd of disciples, followers and Galileans on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. This crowd longed to hear what the Messiah’s kingdom would be all about……..and the message Jesus would teach that day surprised his listeners………….for the way this kingdom would be revealed was all predicated on the mindset of a lowly farmer.
Farmers have a special disposition. They are intentional, deliberate, patient, methodical, hardworking, under-the-radar stewards who do what they can to nurture the plot of ground to which they have been entrusted. But one thing a farmer cannot do, is make a seed grow. Sure, a farmer can scatter the seed, nurture the seed and work hard tending to the areas all around the seed, but the growth is in the hands of the maker. The grain will grow ripe in due season and in God’s timing.
As disciples and followers of Christ, we are called to sow seed the way Jesus did and still does, not worrying about where it may fall but rather maintaining persistence in casting it to all. Cast it at home with your wife, cast it at home with your kids, cast it at work with clients and co-workers, cast it at your church and cast it in your neighborhood. God has indeed given you a plot of land in which to sow. Like the poem above, we are not responsible for the response or the outcome………..we are simply called to throw it on the field. Are you tossing the seed despite what you feel, see or hear?
If you find that the seed you throw is impeded by rocks, birds and thorns, cast seed anyway.