No matter how much I resist, my inner critic looks at how many dollars, how many riders, how fast, how far – and makes snap judgments about success or failure. Everyone’s smiling? All good. Someone’s unhappy? We failed.
Jesus didn’t tell many manufacturing/building stories in which products were produced quickly. He used lots of farming metaphors – seeds, soil, vines, water. Farmers don’t decide each day whether the crop’s a success. They plant, fertilize, cultivate, wait…and trust.
Farmers wait and trust. Can’t plant a seed one day and dig it up the next to see how it’s doing. Plant the best seeds possible in the best soil, then wait…and trust.
Farmers also know there’s a lot that’s beyond their control. Hailstorm. Drought. Insects. All kinds of unpredictable events impact the results, determine success or failure. Farming is about plant, do your best, wait, trust, and not measuring the harvest until it’s done.
Most important projects, most work that matters, is like farming. It’s long-term. Much of the result depends on elements beyond our control, so we may as well focus on what we can control, which is mostly the planting/nurturing process.
So real daily success might be judged by my answers to these questions:
Did I plant the best seeds?
Did I do my best to nurture the seeds I (and others) planted?
Am I willing to wait…and trust God?
This isn’t I don’t care or sit around and wait. Farmers care a lot and work incredibly hard. The best ones focus their concerns and efforts where they can make a difference.
Might be a good model for me, and maybe for you, when that inner critic urges you to dig up the seeds you just planted to see if they sprouted.
There’s no limit to what can be accomplished by a group of committed, passionate people when they work together and trust God for the outcome.