Seeds and Such

 Photo by Melody Weintraub

Photo by Melody Weintraub

While shopping at Whole Foods the other day, I came across a package of mustard seeds. It made me recall a devotional my mother once gave, where she handed everyone in the small group a tiny mustard seed at the beginning of her lecture on Faith. I teach in a religious school and this week being "spiritual emphasis week," I thought it might be a good time to pick up a pack of mustard seeds. Monday morning, I gave each student in the class a mustard seed and asked them to read, Matthew 17:20 from the Bible (the verse about moving mountains with faith as small as a mustard seed). I encouraged them to hold onto the mustard seed for one week. Most of them took the "assignment" very seriously. One student lost the seed about 30 seconds after I handed it to him and the others around him tried desperately to help him find it again. I used this as an example of how we should all help one another when our faith wanes. Some students taped their seeds to their sketchbooks, some kept them inside their billfolds, others taped them to their laptops, some asked if they could go to their lockers and tape it inside. So on Friday, I asked them how it was going with holding onto the mustard seed. About a three fourths of the class not only still had them, but showed them to me. We then discussed what common factors helped those students to hold onto their seeds. It seems that those students placed them in places that were valuable to them. Several said, maybe it would have been a good idea to plant them and watch them grow. I also thought about how this also applies to teaching. How's your mustard seed? You know, the one you started with when you were going to change the world by teaching? Moved any mountains lately? Where did you keep it? What kind of seed is it? Is it a seed of knowledge? Is it a seed of a positive art experience? Is it a seed of motivation? Is it hidden under a pile of papers? Did you forget about it while searching for other things? Did you lose it in the clutter of life and disappointment? By any chance, did you share it with your students? Perhaps they can help you find it again. This time maybe it should be planted and nourished so you can watch it grow.