Limitless possibilities of seeds

Published 9:58 pm Friday, July 13, 2018

By QuaWanna Bannarbie

If you missed last week’s column, then you are unaware of my commitment to share a series of articles on the topic of seeds. Because the seed itself has limitless possibilities, I know I will be unable to exhaust the extensive matter represented by such a small element. I begin my reflection on the purpose of the seed.

When my oldest child was in preschool, I developed this love for gardening. I have always loved flowers, and I have memories of walking behind grandma and my mother in the garden as a child. But I never dreamed I would be a backyard gardener. It is one of my most enjoyable activities. After about seven or eight years of dibble-dabble with soil and seeds, I still consider myself a novice. As such, I often read about gardening, and I love learning from other gardeners.

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A year ago, I was talking to a fellow garden lover about seeds, and I made a discovery. We were sharing stories of how we (his wife and I) save seeds from season to season. He told me about the global conservation of seeds. Did you know that there is a vault that contains the earth’s agricultural history in the form of millions of seeds? I was clueless concerning this until he told me. It is called the Global Seed Vault on Spitsbergen. The vault is in an icy mountain between Norway and the North Pole.

It sounds absolutely fascinating to think of so many seeds in one place. But at the same time, it is a sad story. According to the interview done by TIME magazine with Marie Haga, the executive director of the Crop Trust, which manages the vault, “over the past 50 years, agricultural practices have changed dramatically, with technological advances allowing large-scale crop production. But while crop yields have increased, biodiversity has decreased to the point that now only about 30 crops provide 95 percent of human food-energy needs.”

What this says to me is that this vault is holding millions of seeds with the potential to bring forth so many possibilities for production, but we are not using them. It is almost like we have said to the master seed producer of the world — his name being Jehovah — “we have no need for your idea of variety, we will just stick with these 30 crops here and you keep your millions of seeds in the vault.” I would just love to know what fruit or vegetable I am missing out on because someone made the decision for me that I have no need to experience such variety in my diet. We are being robbed of so much abundance.

What is a seed that is not planted in the ground? A seed houses growth. It is appointed to grow. The seed’s purpose is for producing. It is no wonder that the Bible gives so many references to the seed because God commanded the first human beings on this earth in Genesis 1:28, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth…” We are intended to be producers. We are commanded to be fruitful. When we limit our production, we limit our purpose.

Go a little further with me from just talk of seeds in packets in a vault in a cold place. Think about the seeds in your hands. What about your ideas and your children? These are seeds also. Are you limiting their purpose? God chose to give them to you for you to help them mature and bear much fruit.

John 15:16 says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” It is our responsibility as gardeners in this vineyard called life to bear much fruit. It is my prayer that as you read this article you will begin to ask yourself, in what ways are you telling the master seed producer that you dislike His idea of variety? In what ways are you unwilling to yield to His manner of yielding produce in your life? Where have you shut your seeds off into a cold vault that is only opened when there has been a threat to human survival?

May we search ourselves and pray about the seeds in our lives that need to mature and not rob the world of the blessing of fruitful living. We are more resourceful than we know.

QuaWanna Bannarbie is an adjunct professor of Nonprofit Leadership and Management with Indiana Wesleyan University, National and Global. Her children attend Suffolk Public Schools. Connect with her via Twitter @QNikki_Notes.