This (above) is the genuine article!
I revisited the parable of the mustard seed in my Bible reading plan today. The concept of “mustard seed faith” has always eluded me. I remember reading about it as a kid and thinking, Why mustard seeds? Is it the quality of the seed? Is it the size of the seed, even though the Scripture says it’s the smallest seed of all garden plants? I guess there was a couple who made a whole business out of selling mustard seeds encased in clear lucite, hanging from key chains and bracelets (The Power of Positive Thinking, Norman Vincent Peale). They were tangible (though possibly ugly) reminders to have faith. So what exactly is it?
I got my running shoes out Tuesday and just looked at them. Would I ever put them on again? They looked back, those saucy fuchsia, goldenrod and silver Asics, all dazzle and brightness. I left them for another day. I wasn’t ready to think about it yet.
The thing about seeds is that once they’re nestled in the ground, they die. They do not remain seeds. They split apart and start to sprout roots, then a stem, followed by leaves. They push up out of the ground, bravely moving the soil aside to reach the sunlight. Death before life. Or, if you’d rather, life out of death. It’s nature’s way.
I went out for a run today, my first since the marathon on Sunday. To be honest, after the marathon, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run again. At all. Ever. It’s not because I was so terribly sore. You get used to a certain amount of stiffness and soreness when you run regularly and long distances. You’re familiar with blood blisters and the beginnings of hammer toes. This was something more. I was greatly discouraged. I spent quite a bit of time just resting and praying and trying to figure out where to go from here.
While out running today, I thought about how far I’ve come. I started to run in my 20s with my co-workers and then ran off and on for years, only picking it up again seriously after Ruby was born. That scale would not go down! I refused to give up and be, what for me, is chubby. I reconnected with a part of myself I thought was gone: my inner athlete. This is the part of me that dreams and sets goals, not just for running but in all of life. This is the piece of me that seems to kick-start my faith. And it was only small at first: run the hill without stopping. Lead that worship song that maybe is a bit out of your range but you know needs to be in the mix; you can do it! Reach out to that person who needs encouragement.
And little by little, my faith grew. God met me as I stretched out and challenged myself and trusted Him to catch me. I’m still not sure where I’m going next, but I’m up and moving again. All of that to say to you to get back in the saddle. God will meet you there. Your faith will continue to grow.