Mustard Seeds and Metaphors

When I was a kid, I had a mustard seed necklace.  It was a tiny glass heart that had an even tinier actual little ole mustard seed in there.  I loved that necklace and wore it all the time.  

I don't remember who first told me the meaning behind it- you only need the "faith of a mustard seed" to move mountains.  It seemed so reassuring to me.  I totally had the faith of a mustard seed, so I could totally move mountains.

The actual quote is from the Book of Matthew (17:20).  Jesus has just cast out a demon and his disciples are questioning why it was so easy for him to do so, when they couldn't.  Jesus tells them they had such a hard time, because they aren't faithful enough.  He says "Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

A couple o f months ago, when I came back home, I planted a garden.  And in that garden I planted mustard seeds.  And they really are tiny.  So, so, tiny.

And as I looked as those tiny, tiny, mustard seeds in my hand, I realized that kid-me had missed the mark.  I assumed, as a kid, that Jesus was being literal.  That I only needed this tiny amount of faith to get me through.

But adult-me, staring at those itty-bitty mustard seeds, realized that although mustard seeds are tiny, mustard plants are not.  The mustard seed must have a huge reservoir of faith to get through that transformation.

Seeds pretty much explode with growth. They transform into something completely different from what they were before.  This transformation and growth of mustard seeds is a g great metaphor for the rest of us.

Growth is painful and scary and it takes a ton of faith (in whatever it is you believe in) to make through to the other side still whole.

I've been going through a period of growth lately, (and boy has it been painful) but I can only hope I make it to the other side as gracefully as a mustard seed.


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