From Mark 4 | 30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

Jesus offered many descriptions of the Kingdom of Heaven as he traveled from village to village. The mustard seed description has always been my favorite. As I began to learn about my faith as a young adult, I was always worried that maybe I was just not “good enough.” I knew what I was; and in so many ways – too numerous to count – I was not “Christ like.”

As I started going to church, I would hear bold statements like “Repent, for the Kingdom of God has come near!” It would make me think that one day I was supposed to just open my eyes and be this completely changed person. I know people who have had that kind of experience – but it wasn’t mine.

My experience has been more of a long drawn out season of growth – one that I hope never ends as long as I have breath. When Jesus talks about the tiniest seed that “when sown” ends up as something large, rooted, and life giving; it resonates with my soul. It gives me hope.

Certainly I can look back on seasonal growth spurts along the way, but clearly what has brought me to where I am in my spiritual relationship with God has been just sticking with it – what I call “staying sown” – just keep growing – just keep praying – just keep reading the Bible with others – just keep coming to church – just keep sharing life with my Christian friends – just keep eating the Holy meal as it appears – just keep worshipping – just keep looking for ways I can contribute inside and outside my church – just keep being grateful to God and empathetic to others – just keep moving towards God. Stay sown in the imperfect community of believers. We need each other to grow.

The power of the parable is the tiny seed does not stay tiny – when sown.

In my lifelong journey of growth, I can look back and see it began with some tiny part of God inside me that has grown me to be more than I ever dreamed I could be in my walk with God and with people. The mustard seed reminds me through Jesus’ wonderful words of life that the Kingdom of heaven is a “start small – grow big” process. Not only is it possible, it’s how the Kingdom appears.

God’s Encouragement,