WHAT YOU SOW IS WHAT YOU REAP

Once there lived a poor Scottish farmer, his name was Fleming. One day, while trying to eke out a living for his family, he heard a cry from a nearby wet muddy ground. He dropped his tool and ran to that bog. There, he saw a terrified boy stuck to his waist in that black muck. He was screaming and struggling to free himself. Farmer Fleming saved the boy from what could have been a slow and terrifying death.

The next day, a fancy carriage pulled up to the farmer’s meager surroundings. An elegantly-dressed nobleman stepped out and introduced himself as the father of the boy, Fleming has saved. ‘I want to repay you,’ said the nobleman. ‘You saved my son’s life.’  ‘No, I cannot accept payment for what I did,’ the Scottish farmer replied, waving off the offer.

At that moment, the farmer’s own son came to the door of the home. ‘Is that your son?’ the nobleman asked. ‘Yes,’ the replied proudly. ‘I’ll make you a deal. Let me take him and give him a good education. If the boy is like his father, he’ll grow into a man you can be proud of.’

And that he did. In time, Fleming’s son graduated from St Mary’s Hospital Medical School in London, and went on to become the noted Sir Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of Penicillin. Years afterward, the nobleman’s son was stricken with pneumonia. And what saved him? Penicillin. The name of the noble man was Lord Randolph Churchill, and his son’s name was Sir Winston Churchill.

Source | Binary Mag

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • What are you sowing? What you sow, so shall you reap

THE EMPEROR AND THE SEEDS

What follows if another, older rendition of the previous story:

In the Far East, the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”

The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next emperor.”

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it, carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown.. After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Ling kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by — still nothing in Ling’s pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends, however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened.

Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey, nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people. Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today one of you will be appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was terrified. He thought, “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me killed!”

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,” he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”

Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you, except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he Is the one who will be the new emperor!”

Source | Wayne Rice, More Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks

PONDER AND CONSIDER

Be careful what you plant, now; it will determine what you will reap tomorrow. The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better for you and for the ones who will come after you.

  • What you sow,  you shall reap. | Galatians 6:7
  • Whatever you give to life, life gives back to you.

SEEDS AND CEO

A successful business man was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the business.

Instead of choosing one of his directors or his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young executives in his company together.

He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next CEO. I have decided to choose one of you.” The young executives were shocked, but the boss continued. “I am going to give each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you. I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next CEO.”

One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly, told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil and compost and he planted the seed. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other executives began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.

Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew.

Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by, still nothing.

By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.

Six months went by  – still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however, he just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – he so wanted the seed to grow.

A year finally went by and all the young executives of the company brought their plants to the CEO for inspection.

Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to be honest about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach, it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right. He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other executives. They were beautiful – in all shapes and sizes. Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed, a few felt sorry for him!

When the CEO arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his young executives.

Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees and flowers you have grown,” said the CEO. “Today one of you will be appointed the next CEO!”

All of a sudden, the CEO spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered the Financial Director to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The CEO knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me fired!”

When Jim got to the front, the CEO asked him what had happened to his seed – Jim told him the story.

The CEO asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the young executives, “Behold your next Chief Executive Officer! His name is Jim!”

Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed.

“How could he be the new CEO?” the others said.

Then the CEO said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow. All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you. Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the new Chief Executive Officer!”

Source | unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER

  • Plant honesty and you will reap trust
  • Plant goodness and you will forge authentic friendships
  • Plant humility and you will reap depth
  • Plant perseverance and you will reap contentment and deep joy
  • Plant consideration and you will reap right vision and perspective
  • Plant hard work and you will reap real success
  • Plant forgiveness and you will reap reconciliation and possible new beginnings

 

PLAYING IT SAFE

A young reporter wanted to get a feel for agriculture, so he called upon a farmer and said, “How’s your wheat coming along?” The farmer replied, “I didn’t plant any.”

“Really?” asked the reporter. “I thought this was supposed to be wheat country.”

“Some say it is,” Came the reply. “But I was afraid we might not see enough rain this year.”

“Well, what about your corn? How is it doing?” the young man inquired.

“Didn’t plant corn this year,” the farmer said. “I was afraid of disease”

“Alfalfa?”

“No. Afraid the price might drop.”

“Well, then,” asked the reporter, “what did you plant?”

“Nothing,” the farmer said. “I just played it safe.”

Source | Unknown

PONDER AND CONSIDER 
Do you recognize yourself in that story? We cut out a lot of life playing it safe. Sometimes we all play it so safe that we are bound to lose. The farmer did not plant corn and did not plant wheat and did not plant alfalfa, because there was a risk which accompanied planting each one.  Something might go wrong in each case, so he played it safe by planting nothing, and he ended up with exactly that – nothing.

Do not play it too safe because that can be the most dangerous thing you can do in the world.  Of course, unnecessary risk-taking is foolish. But if life is to be lived fully, then saying “no”to our fears and taking a risk may be the first step to success.  It takes courage to do what we have never done before and to go where we have never been before.  But if we did not do that, we would all have stayed in our mother’s wombs and never lived at all.

  • Don’t play for safety. It’s the most dangerous thing in the world.  | Sir Hugh Walpole
  • “Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at.” | Anon
  • You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. You can’t get there by bus, only by hard work, risking, and by not quite knowing what you’re doing. What you’ll discover will be wonderful – yourself. | Alan Alda
  • Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. | Claude Thomas Bissell