“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24-25 MSG
In mountainous climates, the growing season tends to be short. Planting seeds tends to be a springtime project. But there are some varieties of wheat that are dubbed “winter wheat.” These get planted in the fall in order to get a head start on all the other crops in the spring. To the casual observer, planting seeds in the fall may not make sense. We don’t associate winter with plant growth. Jesus used stories about farming because the people understood the process. Jesus then connects the dots from plant-life-processes to spiritual-life-processes.
In the same way that the seed gets buried in the ground, something has to “be buried” in order for spiritual life to flourish. We would laugh at a farmer who never puts seeds into the soil, but expects to see a crop grow. But often we hold onto our life as we know it while expecting to see some growth. Letting go of ego, or reputation can feel reckless. Giving up a job or a dream may seem ridiculous. It seems like a contradiction; if you let go of your life, you’ll have it forever. But Jesus is letting us in on the secret of planting seeds. If you want something to grow, something has to be let go.
- Are you holding onto something that Jesus is inviting you to let it go?
- How might it look for you to plant the seeds in the soil of life, reckless in your love, so you might know real and eternal life?
- What “winter wheat” seeds has God planted in you that you are looking forward to see grow?
By Tim Herset | Kalispell, MT