Tommy wanted to do something special for his mom on Mother’s Day. He knew she loved flowers and the local hardware store in his small town had a rack that turned; it was filled with all kinds of seed packets. If he saved his allowance for the next few weeks, he could buy his mom three packages. Every day after school, Tommy would stop into the hardware store and turn the seed rack in every direction. There were so many choices; it was going to be difficult to make a decision.
The Saturday before Mother’s Day, Tommy walked into the hardware store with three quarters tucked safely in his pants pocket. The bell above the door signaled his arrival and the owner, Mr. Joseph, looked up from behind the counter.
“Hi, Tommy”, he said. Are you here to look at the flower packets?”
“Oh no, Mr. Joseph, I’m here to buy some”, he replied, as he placed the quarters on the glass counter.
“Splendid! I’ll be in the back taking care of stock, just let me know when you are ready.”
Overwhelmed by the number of different flower varieties, Tommy turned the squeaky display rack round and round. There was no way to make a choice and in frustration he called to Mr. Joseph for help.
“I can’t decide what my mom will like best.”
“That’s not a problem, son. Pick ten of your favorite flower packets and bring them back to my check-out counter.”
“Then what; how is that going to help?”
“You’ll see,” said Mr. Joseph, “you’ll see.”
When Tommy returned, Mr. Joseph handed him a tin can filled with pieces of white paper folded into squares.
“Place one of the folded papers on the top of each flower packet.”
When Tommy finished, he looked up at Mr. Joseph.
“Now what?” he asked.
“Unfold each paper you placed on the seed packets and remove any with the letters: Y, W, O, E, S, R and D. Place them in the garbage can over there by the water cooler.”
Once Tommy gathered the packets he soon realized the counter was empty. Mr. Joseph’s plan hadn’t helped at all. Confused and frustrated, he spouted out,
“You said me you would help me decide what flower seeds my mom would like best, but you failed; the counter is now empty.”
“Indeed it is,” Mr. Joseph replied with a chuckle. “But those packets you threw away were ‘worry seeds’ and ‘worry seeds’ never grow anything; you need seeds of faith if you want to grow a beautiful flower garden.
“Mr. Joseph,” Tommy asked, “how will I know if I am planting seeds of faith or seeds of worry?”
Mr. Joseph stepped from behind the counter and walked over to the display rack. He spun the rack around slowly and in a gentle voice replied,
“Tommy, you must have turned that rack at least 30 times. As I listened to each squeaky turn, I knew that every seed packet you selected was gilded with indecisiveness. You lacked faith in your choices; and when that happens, you end up with worry seeds. How about we pick out some faith seeds?”
Together they turned the seed rack and picked out the most colorful flowers pictured on the package, and also those that would bloom year after year.
Tommy laid his three seed packets on the counter.
“That will be 75 cents,” Mr. Joseph said with a grin. “Just remember to water them every day so they can grow into colorful flowers with long-lasting blooms.”
Are you planting worry seeds or faith seeds? It’s your choice.