Sunday, December 15, 2002

Eat them or plant them

I've been reading that much-talked-about book 'The Millionaire Next Door'. Throughout the book, the authors never stop promoting a low-consumption, high-investment lifestyle as the key to wealth. Frugality and smart investment strategies is their siren song. I've learnt a lot from the authors, but one story really fascinated me.

When they interviewed a millionaire-farmer, he explained his philosophy in money-management: 'My family in Nebraska understood the value of a dollar. Dad used to say seeds are a lot like dollars. You can eat the seeds or sow them. But when you would see what seeds turned into... ten-foot high corn... you don't want to waste them. Consume them or plant them. I always get a kick out of watching things grow.'
Strikingly similar to the Parable of Talents wouldn't you say? Money was like seeds to him, seeds to be used or to be invested. But my mind turns to people, instead. People in church and at work. People under our care. Even myself.

People are a lot like seeds. Every human being is a ready resource. They have abilities, energy and a desire to bless people. We can 'eat' them by putting them to work immediately and pushing every last ounce of service they can offer. Or we can 'sow' them by helping them grow, nurturing their gifts, and loving them into becoming all they can be. When we see how they turn out in the end, Kingdom-minded, Christ-centered effective individuals, we don't want to waste them.

Who are the 'seeds' under your care? Are you too eager to 'consume' them? How can you 'plant' them? And what about yourself? Am I too eager to use up all my strength and abilities? How can I invest in my gifts/passions and let them grow?

Do you get a kick out of watching people grow?

People - use them or grow them!


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