Thursday, October 25, 2007

Seed or Sod--Wesley Foundation E-Letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Dear Friends,


Tonight is the big night!!!!! The much anticipated, highly celebrated Halloween party!  We will eat a spook dinner, carve pumpkins, sing karaoke, and award fabulous prizes.  The festivities begin at 6:30pm.  I look forward to seeing everyone there! 


Now for Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


A few weeks ago my brother-in-law was over at our house, and he and my husband were talking about lawns.  Of course we had been in a terrible drought and most of the grass in our neighborhood was brown.  Bill commented on our lawn that the back was much greener and growing much better than the front.  He said it must have been seeded, while the front had been sodded.  He could tell that the roots of the back yard had gone so much deeper than those in the front; that’s why it looked so much better.


I have been sitting with this image and this question for several weeks now:  seed or sod?  In our quick fix society it seems so much easier to transplant someone else’s work into our lives for results that are immediate.  But in life as in lawns, there are no easy buttons.  It is true that sod looks much better in the short run, but it amazes me that after three years the differences in quality are still so apparent.  Seeds build better roots; sod is too shallow.   


Things in life have to be deeply rooted to survive.  Anything that is of value must be planted deeply, tended regularly, watched over intentionally.  This is such a slow process because seeds are so small.  And they seem to take forever to grow.  So much of the growth that happens in the beginning is hidden, beneath the earth.  And this is often the way God does things.  God plants His Word in us through seeds which we can choose to nurture or to ignore.  We can cultivate the growth of God things in our lives, but it takes patience.  I love the scripture in Philippians 2:12-13 that says, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”   Because God is not into sod, He makes sure that what He is building is “built on rock,” able to withstand whatever circumstances that try to derail His intentions.  And He expects us to work with Him, even though it demands we cannot take the easy way out.


It is true that we can manufacture a veneer of okay-ness in the image infatuated society we live in.  And we can do this in all kinds of areas:  academics, jobs, friendships, relationships, organizational involvement, church life, dating, marriage, whatever.  We can make things look great on the outside while being a complete mess or completely shallow underneath.  But heat always reveals the depth of roots.  Without being the real deal, things that look good on the surface soon dry up and blow away because they cannot withstand the elements.  Change and hardship reveal what we are made of; we either crumble or stand tall.  Just like seeded grass that remains green (or greener) in a drought, or shallow sod that burns up easily. 


I invite you to take a personal inventory with me:  What parts of your life are you allowing God to plant and grow seeds of strength in?  What parts have you been faking it, trying to make things look better than they really are?  What parts of your life do you recognize as being in the long process of growth, much of which is happening where others can’t really see it?  The good news is that God loves seeding things and bringing forth fruit from that which is seeded.  It doesn’t matter what kind of soil we’ve become, God’s intention is for us to bear much fruit, and He will see that we are properly seeded to bear His fruit.  He is patient and loving and teaches us to wait with Him for those good things He is growing.  And when we finally see progress it will be of the kind that cannot be taken away:  “For as the earth brings for its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations”  (Isaiah 55:11).


So rejoice with me friends!  We may be sod (get it? Sad/sod?  J) now, but “instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off”  (Isaiah 55:13).








Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry



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