I read a story online called THE SEED and rewrote it for my children below:
There once was a mighty King who wanted to choose someone from his family to reign on the throne next to him in his kingdom. He gave each of his children one seed and a pot to plant it in. He told them to return in one year with the pot and what had become of it. Then he would choose which son or daughter would reign with him on the throne.
The siblings all carried their pots with them on their adventures for one year.
After 6 months, one daughter was so troubled. No matter how she tried, nothing was growing in her pot! She considered buying a plant, a flower, something would be better than nothing. Nights of wrestling with her own disappointment left her realizing she’d have to show up with nothing, just a pot of dirt. No matter how hard she tried to justify buying some “fancy foliage,” the truth was: nothing grew.
After one year, the Father looked at what his children brought back. He saw that all the plants they brought were tall, strong, and beautiful. However, the King walked past all the “fancy foliage” and drew the young daughter close to thank her for her honesty. He had given every child a dead seed. Because of her honesty and integrity, she alone would sit next to him on the throne.
As I think about my own integrity I’m struck by how much I resonate with the young daughter. I often want to create MORE than what I seem to be because what I’ve got to give doesn’t seem like it will be enough; enough for God, for others, or for myself. I understand her temptation to make it “look good”! But the buying “fancy foliage” leads only to an exhausting life and my soul grows so weary trying to control others’ perceptions of me. There’s peace and freedom in admitting what I am not. It’s also an invitation to ask God to be all He is! Below is my own statement of integrity for this season in my life.
By the grace of God I will stop using “fancy foliage” to cover up my own limitations and weaknesses. I want to stop hiding what I lack. I want to create safe spaces for anyone’s shortcomings, messiness and complications-especially my own.
Heidi Connors, Minister to Children and their Families
Source for the story, The Seed: