“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
It about two years ago that I was at home with my son, when I saw something that inspired me. It was a meme or as I use to call it until recently a ME ME. It had an image of an older man with his son watering a small plant. It included a talk bubble where the Dad said, one day son, you will appreciate the truly important things in life. Then right under was another image of a man pushing his daughter on a swing that was attached to a tree. It also had talk bubble, it said simply, Thanks Dad. Then all the way at the bottom it had the quote “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
The next morning, I took my son to the store to buy fertilizer, some packets of various seeds, plastic garden pots, and one of those little rake things. We headed to Family Dollar, yes I wanted a garden but I also wanted a bargain. We arrived home and headed to the backyard, we laid out our supplies. My son Samson was only 2 years old at the time, and had no idea what was going on, but was enthused at the idea that he could now play in dirt with his daddy’s permission. We began to pour dirt into the containers, he watched me as I gave him instructions on each step we would take. He waited patiently as possible until he couldn’t hold it anymore. He took a pot with dirt and began to grab handfuls, putting them on top of the packets with the seed. I laughed and said, your close but we must put the seeds in the soil. He had the right intentions, but the process was out of order.
The PROCESS. A series of actions or steps taken to achieve a particular outcome. Nothing is ever accomplished or completed without it. Living in an era, dawned the microwave dynasty, we tend to lose sight of the power of the process. We tend to want everything now, better yet yesterday. When something doesn’t go right the first time, we often move on to something else. When someone isn’t stimulating us like they once did before, we discard them. We have convinced ourselves that we don’t have time for anything these days. We want results, but do not want the work to achieve those actions and steps, which are necessary in completing the end result we desire.
Let’s discuss these seeds for a moment. These are truly amazing. I could throw one across a room and we may never find it, it is that small. Yet, there is so much potential in one seed. I want you all to pretend with me. I want us to imagine that we are just tiny little seeds. We are preparing to grow into something that we have never been before. We are about to blow up. We are about to be huge. We are about to produce a harvest for others to benefit from. But wait, slow down. Before you can do all these great things, you must first be buried out of sight. In the filthiest conditions you can think of. DIRT. You are now isolated. It is our commitment to the process that will determine who we become. We rely solely on our thirst, soaking up all the essentials for our survival that we may begin to sprout. We grow roots, the deeper we penetrate the stronger our foundation. Remember, no one is able to physically see our progress, but we form anyway. May won’t care about your progress, because they can’t physically see it. Yet, still we break out from underground to show a glimpse of our transformation. Revealing what was in us all along.
The PROCESS. I want to take the imagination out of it now. How many of us have ran from the process? In some shape, form, or fashion. The process that it takes to be great. How many of you believe that there is something inside of you that is greater than what people can see? There are seeds inside of you that are thirsting. But we want the reward and not the work. We want instant results. You shall reap what you sow. Stop wanting results for work you didn’t put in. This is not solely pertaining to your personal goals or ambitions. The process is in every phase of our lives. Relationships, parenting, teaching, building, from the day you where birthed into this world, until the day you leave. The process is bigger than you. “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” There will be people who you will never meet, that will benefit from the shade of a seed you planted today.