Seeds, seedlings

Owls don’t eat seeds, they are further up the food chain than that. They eat rodents (mice and rats), lemmings and other small mammals. When the food source is scarce they might migrate to a new, less familiar location in order to survive.

This owl, however, found herself thinking about seeds this morning. The particular brand of porridge I cook each (week)day has seeds in it, which I like and is why I buy it. As I ate my breakfast this morning I listened to an app called “pray as you go”. What I most like about this app is the questions that make me stop and think and help me go deeper into the Word of God and explore my own relationship with God, myself and the world.

Today’s reading was Jesus’ parable of the Sower from Mark 4:1-9 It’s quite familiar to me, but as so often happens I saw and understood the passage in a new way today. One of the questions was

Did you notice how many different kinds of seeds Jesus mentions?

Erm no. Now you mention it, I didn’t. I only noticed the different kinds of environment the seeds fell into. I didn’t hear Jesus say the seeds were different, but -equally importantly- I didn’t hear him say they were the same either.

Can you imagine what they might represent?

I have always assumed all the seeds were all the same, but understanding them as different kinds of seeds (as well as different kinds of environments) is helpful in reminding me that even within a species we are all different – one kind of snowy owl has subtle (and not so subtle) differences from another snowy owl. Some are visible – size, markings, scars from injuries etc. The physical differences between species of owl  are more obvious, but there are enough similarities for us to recognise them as owls – even if their habits and environments differ as well. There are, however, also less visible differences too – personalities, preferences, passions. These only become more obvious when a particular owl is observed for a longer period of time and then compared to another individual.

It’s probably even more true of humans. We all look different and have different personalities, giftings, dreams and ambitions. There is much to unite us as human beings. But for each of us to develop to our God-given potential those differences are needed and being in the right, nurturing environment is really important.

What does that look, sound and feel like for us and our power animals  – I wonder.

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