By Mike Shockey
A successful PASTOR was growing old and knew it was time to choose a successor to take over the church.
Instead of choosing one of his young preachers or one of his children, he decided to do something different. He called all the young preachers together into his church office. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the next PASTOR. I have decided to choose one of you.
“The young preachers were shocked, but the PASTOR continued. “I am going to give each one of you a SEED today – one very special SEED. I want you to plant the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you have grown from the seed I have given you.
I will then judge the plants that you bring, and the one I choose will be the next PASTOR.”
One man, named Jim, was there that day and he, like the others, received a seed. He went home and excitedly told his wife the story. She helped him get a pot, soil, and compost and he planted the seed.
Every day, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown. After about three weeks, some of the other preachers began to talk about their seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow.
Jim kept checking his seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by; still, nothing was growing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Jim didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure.
Six months went by — still nothing in Jim’s pot. He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall plants, but he had nothing. Jim didn’t say anything to his colleagues, however… He just kept watering and fertilizing the soil – He so wanted the seed to grow.
A year finally went by and all the young PREACHERS of the church brought their plants to the PASTOR for inspection. Jim told his wife that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot. But she asked him to BE HONEST about what happened. Jim felt sick to his stomach; it was going to be the most embarrassing moment of his life, but he knew his wife was right.
He took his empty pot to the board room. When Jim arrived, he was amazed at the variety of plants grown by the other YOUNG PREACHERS. They were beautiful — in all shapes and sizes.
Jim put his empty pot on the floor and many of his colleagues laughed; a few felt sorry for him!
When the OLD PASTOR arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted his YOUNG PREACHERS.
Jim just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and flowers you have grown,” said the OLD PASTOR. “Today one of you will be appointed the next PASTOR!”
All of a sudden, the OLD PASTOR spotted Jim at the back of the room with his empty pot. He ordered someone to bring him to the front. Jim was terrified. He thought, “The PASTOR knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have me excommunicated!”
When Jim got to the front, the PASTOR asked him what had happened to his seed, Jim told him the story.
The PASTOR asked everyone to sit down except Jim. He looked at Jim, and then announced to the other me, “Behold your next PASTOR! His name is Jim!”
Jim couldn’t believe it. Jim couldn’t even grow his seed. The others said, “How could he be the new PASTOR?”
Then the OLD PASTOR said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone in this room a seed. I told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me today. But I gave you all boiled seeds; they were dead – it was not possible for them to grow.
All of you, except Jim, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I gave you.
Jim was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he is the one who will be the NEW PASTOR!”
* If you plant honesty, you will reap trust.
* If you plant goodness, you will reap friends.
* If you plant humility, you will reap greatness.
* If you plant perseverance, you will reap contentment.
* If you plant consideration, you will reap perspective.
* If you plant hard work, you will reap success.
* If you plant forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation.
* If you plant faith in God, you will reap a harvest.
So, be careful what you plant now; it will determine what you will reap later.
“Whatever You Give To Life, Life Gives You Back.”
A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.  And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.  And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Luke 8:11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
The above article, “The Seed” is written by Mike Shockey. The article was excerpted from pages 6-8 of the Apostolic Standard July 2009.
The material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.