Imagine that someone who’s fond of you reaches out to give you a seed. As you receive this gift, you notice it is unlike any you have previously planted. You have no idea how the growth will look or what the plant might produce once the seed sprouts and develops. The length of the seed’s germination is also unknown. Quite some time will pass before you discover the hidden energy it contains. The only certainty you have is that a fertile source of fresh life resides within the heart of that seemingly inert object. You relax with assured confidence, trusting that the seed’s qualities will eventually be revealed if you care for it with faithfulness.
Like that gift of a seed, the new year is placed in our hands. It beckons us to approach the unknown future with a spirit disposed for growth, to release preconceived notions of how the year ought to look or what it is supposed to produce. So much of future transformation will depend on care-fully tending this life, and keeping a hope-filled outlook. We are no more able to force a desired, specific change than we are to hurry a seed forth from the ground. Like Mary of Nazareth who “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart,” the new year insists on our mindfully receiving its unfolding, with trust that there will be growth aplenty there for us.
Seed of Restoration, reach into the layers of my past year. Bring into view the positive gifts that I missed due to clouded expectations and unwanted experiences. Soften the inner places that have been hardened by hurt. Warm the cold ground of dormant hope.
Seed of Curiosity, widen my vision of how life is to be received. Keep me open to what the hidden confines of my soul have yet to reveal. Nudge me to be inquisitive, to be ready for the surprises that awaken the wisdom waiting within me.
Seed of Insight, expand my ideas and thoughts so the lessons of your love keep influencing the way I think and act. Visit me with unexpected turns of understanding and perception. Urge me to be transformed into an ever more gracious and caring person.
Seed of Equanimity, disperse anxious remnants of fear and concern. Strengthen me to free them from my tight grasp. Like a seed planted in the soil, encourage my surrender into your abiding presence. When I wait with uncertainty, draw your enduring tranquility into my heart.
Seed of Happiness, enter the gray spaces in which I lose sight of joy. Awaken enthusiasm. Loosen whatever restrains my spirit from life-giving energy. Release gloom when it wraps around me. Let it slide off like the shell of a seed giving way to a greening shoot.
Seed of Unity, touch my heart to the suffering of others through each kind thought and caring deed. Let compassion spread like droplets of rain seeping into the soil of humanity. Thank you for your life resonating in the heartbeat of our co-existence on planet Earth. May there be peace.
© Joyce Rupp
Reproduced on the Marley Parish website by kind permission of Sister Joyce Rupp, osm.
Joyce Rupp/Servants of Mary, 1165 Office Park Rd., # 308, West Des Moines, IA 50265