As a child, we learn the difference between doing something by accident and on ‘purpose’. As a Christian you learn the value of ‘purpose’ through God’s plan for you. Purpose is a powerful word, there is intention, reasoning, and an objective in the activity. Purpose changes the significance of our actions. While many of us question our purpose and we take a lifetime wondering if we are living according to God’s plan, we have the power to be purposeful every day. While this post isn’t intended to address what your life purpose is, it is meant to focus on the purpose you put into each day. The leadership program at Saint Mary’s has taught me the importance of walking in my purpose with every step I take.
My statement of purpose: I am a disciple of love and transformation, radiating light, cultivating greatness, and purposefully planting seeds.
What do I mean when I say purposefully planting seeds? Purposefully means that I have intention and significance in the planting and I say seeds because I know that it is the smallest of things that is needed to harvest, grow, manifest, transform and change something into a “greater” something.
The bible references seedtime early in Genesis (8:22), stating that seedtime and harvest are one of the only things we can depend on while we are here on earth. Meaning that you will always reap what you sow, you will always harvest what you plant. Similarly, to what Buddhist believe as karma or Pagans take on creating your own destiny based off your positive or negative intentions. For those that are not Christian you can understand it through the law of attraction or “willing” your blessings. God has vested the power within each of us. I have the power each day and every moment to purposefully plant seeds in every area of my life. This concept is not meant to intimidate us or condemn but is to remind us that each decision we make is significant. We should be motivated to do each task because we can trust that our labors will not be in vain and that we will be rewarded (1 Corinthians).
“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.”
The message is that those who are idle will not reap, those who do nothing will receive nothing. This verse has helped me understand the necessity of “doing,” but, I am also cautioned to be mindful about what it is I am doing. That is where “planting” the “do” meets “purpose” the “mindfulness.” Once I understand that I should be “purposefully planting,” I am triggered to ask several more questions, what am I planting? Can I plant anywhere? How do I nurture my seed? How long will it take to grow? When can I expect to harvest? How hard is this going to be? What do I do while I am waiting?
Well, first off not everyone’s seedtime and harvest will be identical-so keep your eyes on your own harvest. Secondly, we can’t put a timeline on God’s blessings, as I am maturing in my faith I’ve realized his timing is always on time.
Now moving to the question of soil, yes, your soil needs to be fertile! So here is an example from my own life:
I was trying to become a better woman of God, reading devotionals, going to church, trying to show up in the world as a better person and exercising a heart for the Lord. But, I was ‘friends’ with people who said they had the same values but were living a life that said otherwise, which in return made me make poor decisions and live a hypocritical lifestyle. I was trying to plant the seeds everyday but my environment needed to change. I had to leave my house which I made my cozy home, my safe space, my peaceful bedroom and move out because my roommate and I were on different pages. I couldn’t plant seeds in a home of temptation, hypocrisy and opposing values. I had to cut off friendships that were poisonous, ones that allowed for sinful and unjust behavior. I had to move into fertile soil so that I could grow.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Is my soil fertile? Is my environment nurturing to my goals? Are my “friend’s” values aligned with my own?
Only the Best Seeds
When we plant, we must plant our best seeds (selves). If I say that I want to save money, I can’t spend first and save what is left over at the end of the month. If I want to build a healthy relationship founded on trust, love and God, I can’t put sex before God. Regardless of the harvest or blessing you are hoping to receive you have to plant the best of your(self) seed. When you plant your best seed your harvest will be bountiful, when you plant your imperfect seeds you may ruin your whole harvest. You get what you put it, so always strive to plant your best seed. This is especially important to finances, for me personally I have seen a significant shift in my finances when I give to God first not my wish list first and God second. My relationship with my boyfriend is stronger and lively when we choose to put God first, not sex first and God second.
Questions to Ask Yourself
What are you placing above God? What are you placing in front of your goals? Are you giving first or asking first?
No harvest comes the moment seed is planted, it must wait for God’s appointed time. Rarely in life do we receive overnight transformations, for the seed to grow we must water it and nurture it, protect it, and feed it. Your “seed” is your dreams, goals and if planted allows you to step into your purpose. Overtime if you choose to neglect taking care of it-it’ll deteriorate, if you nurture it-it’ll blossom. While we are often excited to get started and are enthusiastic about planting. We begin planning our lives around our new goals-some type of resistance or opposition emerges. Whether it is internal and we start to doubt ourselves, our abilities, if this is what God wants, the purpose, or external and people don’t understand the ‘new’ you or judge you for the change you’ve decided to make. The struggle is that many of us want to give up early and enter a negative space when we can’t see the growth or results that we desire. We become tired, lazy, and/or helpless and instead of praying for the courage, motivation, strength, and resources to continue the process we pray for a miracle. We pray for the outcome but often neglect/ignore the work we should be putting in while we wait. As my pastor says, “God doesn’t give trees he gives seeds!”
Questions to Ask Yourself
What can I identify as toxins in my life? How can I get rid of these toxins to ensure a healthy harvest? What should I be adding to my life to feed my soul and keep me in positive spirits?
Be faithful to the process regardless of the harvest (outcome). The harvest can be different than what you initially intended but God knows better than you, what you need and when you need it. We plant, we nurture, we trust, we harvest. Your focus can not be on your blessing but rather on the work that you must do each day. Stay committed to the process, love the process and you will be rewarded.
It is key for us to remember that we can’t just be watering one area of our lives. If we are “perfect” in one area but sinful, hateful, and lazy in another we will not be rewarded, we are contaminating our harvest. For things to multiply you can’t water one area of your life. We pray for favor but favor is the result of planted seed.
Questions to Ask Yourself
Am I waiting or doing while I am waiting on God? What areas of my life are blocking my blessing? Am I living in the moment or am I living purposefully?
As I have matured in my faith I have made countless connections to leadership, my intentions, and the choices I make daily. You must be more aware of your choices in every area of your life, stop living in the moment and live more purposefully. That means having a mindfulness practice to align your values each and every day and to work diligently with the gifts the lord has seeded you with sharing your loving spirit in all situations.
You are God’s field be planted in love and rooted in trust.
Your sacred duty is to harvest the gift you were seeded.