Episode 2: The Seed in the Mud
Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. The seed buried in the mud believed it had no chance to grow. Life isn’t always fair, but, without a struggle, there can be no progress. The wise Apostle Paul reminds, that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character. People who have overcome obstacles are more secure than those who have never faced them. It is often the struggles that help us grow strong, stand tall and make a difference in life.
Listen to the episode below, or continue on to read the transcript.
The Seed in the Mud is a story by Paul Berchtold and is used by permission of the author. This story is found at Thank-Your-Stars.com.
Once upon a time there was a seed buried in the mud. It was in dark blackness. It was cold and wet. It shivered. It was just plain no fun. It was icky. It was dirty. It was muddy. It was mucky. It was stuck in the mud. How it got there is a little 3 sentence story.
One nice breezy Fall day, it had fallen on the ground. Then it rained a little. And a deer came along and stepped on it and pushed it deep in the mud. Life just wasn’t fair. It was all alone. If only it had fallen like the other seeds in the grass, or on the log over there, or at least not been stepped on. But what the little seed did not see was the mouse that ate the seeds in the grass and the bird that ate the seeds on the log and the squirrel that gathered the seeds on the ground to store and eat all winter long. It couldn’t see this because it was stuck in the mud. It didn’t know how lucky it was.
Now besides being squished tight in the mud, it was also locked in its shell. It tried to get out of its terrible predicament, but the Fall days got shorter and shorter. It got colder and colder too. It had no strength to get out of its shell. The mud was frozen solid, the deep snow covered it. It went through a terribly cold and dark winter.
Finally, after what seemed forever, slowly the days grew a little longer, a little warmer. The seed had work to do. It began to grow. The water in the mud had softened its shell. Still, how hard it was to get out of its shell! It had to exert energy like never before. It struggled and struggled. Finally, it broke free. Then it used more energy to go not up, but down, struggling to send a tiny little root through that compacted mud — that terribly icky place. It needed something to tightly hold on to, because…….. …now it had to struggle yet again with great effort to send a tiny little shoot to the light above — through all that icky mud. Finally, it was free. It reached the warm sunlight.
You would think its troubles were over. Not so fast. In a whole year it grew only a few inches, while the other plants grew by leaps and bounds, as if to mock the little seed. Every fall it lost its leaves. In winter it barely survived, covered with snow. And as it got a little taller, it had to go through windstorms and blizzards. But one thing was peculiar. Even while it slowly grew up to the sunny blue sky, it never forgot its roots. It had the wisdom to keep growing its roots deeper and deeper in the mud. In fact, it used every windstorm, every blizzard, every shaking, every vibration to wiggle its roots deeper and deeper into the black icky mud. It knew the importance of a solid foundation because it always remembered where it came from, how it had been protected and helped by the mud.
The years rolled on, and the seasons too. Each summer it so slowly but surely grew. Each winter it became a little tougher and stronger. It had little joys and little sorrows throughout its life like all of us do. Then came the fiercest of all storms. The wind blew so violently this way and that. Trees all around were dashed to the ground, broken, uprooted, a jangled mess. After the devastation, the sun shone once again. To be sure, it didn’t look so pretty, some leaves were missing, in fact, quite a few, but that would soon be remedied. Because it hadn’t forgotten its roots as a seed in the mud, it stood there in all its glory. It had become the mighty oak tree.
Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. Author Spencer Johnson, in his bestselling book “Peaks and Valleys: Making Good and Bad Times Work for You – At Work and in Life,” states that “it is natural for everyone everywhere to have peaks and valleys at work and in life.”
The peaks, he says, “are moments when you appreciate what you have,” whereas the valleys “are moments when you long for what is missing.”
Without a struggle, there can be no progress. People who have overcome obstacles are more secure than those who have never faced them. It is often the struggles that help us grow strong, stand tall and make a difference in life.
In the Bible, St Pauls says, “… let us exult, too, in our hardships, understanding that hardship develops perseverance, and perseverance develops a tested character, something that gives us hope, and a hope which will not let us down…” [Romans 5:3-4].
Look for the silver lining.
This is Terry Lees
[Music: Point of Light – Randy Travis]