Mr. Landers, 6th grade science teacher at Haynes Elementary, taught me some invaluable life lessons that follow me everywhere I turn. One, is the lesson I learned from the Venus Fly Trap.
Many may never have heard of this curious animal or flower that is. The Venus Fly Trap literally catches flies and eats them for dinner. Those plants can provide hours of entertainment for the curious soul.
Mr. Landers once challenged our class members to purchase a VFT and cultivate it until the plant worked its magic-killing flies. I remember quite vividly the morning 50 years ago, when Mr. Landers showed up with approximately 25-26 dirt filled vases and lots of VFT seeds. We planted the seeds, wrote our names on the vases, watered them, and placed them in the window.
The next morning each of us, eyes opened wide, ran to the window. Much to our dismay nothing had changed from the day before. Mr. Landers exclaimed, "Give it some time!" This routine continued for several days. Eventually we gave up. We quit looking at the plants. In our minds nothing was working. Yet, Mr. Landers confidently smiled each day and never wavered. It was as if he knew a secret hidden from our naive eyes.
One morning Mr. Landers told us to check the plants out. When I took mine to the water fountain I saw a small green twig pushing up through the soil. In my excitement I yelled out, "Wow, something is happening!" Others began to follow. Mr. Landers quieted us down and proceeded to teach. He explained that when growing a plant we must have faith before we see the results.
This lesson on faith and seeds powerfully impacted my life's paradigm over the years. It may impact you as well. If you're like me you probably get impatient because you often fail to see the immediate results of your hard labor. Our labor, however, works much like a seed. Our learning, selling, teaching, and growth does not sprout into a plant over night. Once we plant the seeds or someone else plants seeds in our heart soil, we must adopt Mr. Landers disposition of FAITH. One ancient writer described faith this way: " Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval." (Heb.11:1) (bold is mine) Someone else said this about faith: "Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.” (G.K. Chesterton)
Therefore, the next time you feel like your efforts are not working, remember Mr. Landers and the Venus Fly Trap. Have faith in those buried seeds.