GUEST VIEW: Don’t eat your seed corn

By Van Yandell

Ephesians 5:20 “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Having a garden is one of life’s little pleasures. As I watch my garden grow and produce vegetables, I see the power God has given the soil: the life giving power of rain, sun and nutrients in the air and soil.

In a recent article, “God’s Glory is in Motion,” I pointed out that everything in God’s creation is moving. When I stand and look at a plant in my garden, the motion is not seen but it certainly is happening because the plants are larger than the day before.

From the speed of the growth of a blade of grass to the speed of our solar system through the galaxy, God has perfectly synchronized and set a speed for everything. The flow of blood through our veins or the movement of the electrical systems within our bodies, it’s all moving.

A friend living in a coastal city in Florida says, “On a quiet night, one can hear rust forming on the old ships in the port.” Those oxidation molecules are in motion, perhaps slowly, but just the same, in motion.

In reality, I am watching a miracle. Often, I’ve said to Margie, “I’m going to the garden to see how much it grew since yesterday.”

This summer (2023), I planted a short row of okra. It took several weeks for it to start producing but when it did, I had an every day job of harvesting those little green pods. If the pods become too big, they get tough and unfit to eat.

Watching the squash, cucumbers and tomatoes evolve from a bloom into a consumable product amazes me. The obvious growth is seeing God in action!

Few in today’s world depend on gardens for sustenance, but there was a day when people did.

When I was a young boy growing up in a small Kentucky town, we always had a garden. My mother canned green beans, tomatoes and numerous other vegetables. We could probably have survived without the garden, but in those times, every penny saved was a penny earned and preserved for other necessities.

There was no place for the luxuries as life in this century affords. All those frivolous “needs” we think we have to have were non-existent in the 1950’s.

One practice of gardeners in those years was to preserve seed for the next year. Thus, the saying, “Don’t eat your seed corn.” Other ways of saying the same might be, “Don’t waste your seed.”

We always saved the best ear of corn for seed for the next year crop. Seeds from tomatoes had to be dried and then carefully stored.

I well remember growing pumpkins to feed cattle to reduce stomach worms. One year, I was careless in my storage procedure. Mice found the seeds and you can imagine what happened.

In today’s world, we seem to be bent on destroying the future of our nation, our world, but importantly, our church.

Our children, youth and new Christians are our seed corn of the church. By not mentoring them, we are destroying our seed corn of the church. Christian education is necessary if we expect the faith to continue.

Most of us would hate to think, “My generation is the last to take Christianity seriously.” By services becoming worship-tainment, we are foregoing the true worship God expects.

Psalm 95:6 “O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.” For some, worship is a quiet meditation while for others it is singing and the raising of hands.

Be not critical of someone because they do not display the same exuberance you do. Sometimes different is just different, not bad or wrong.

It is an important point that we must be in a state of worship. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

I am reminded of Philippians 4:11. Paul was in prison in Rome when he wrote: “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” He was in as dire a state as one could possibly be. Yet knowing he had Christ Jesus, Paul could be content.

While many fully understand the importance of knowing our history (to prevent those mistakes from being repeated), it is equally important to consider the future.

We must preserve our future in the church. In the 1950’s we could go to a store and buy a package of seeds for ten cents but at times, that ten cents was needed for other things or we simply did not have it.

That is why we did not eat our seed corn. I fear the time may come when humanity will ask “Do you remember that institution called the church? I wonder what happened to those people?”

Many of us cling to and cherish our Bibles, our church and our relationship with our Jesus. For the scoffers that do not understand, read the Holy Bible and you will see its supernatural essence. It is so obvious even for the skeptical and discerning mind.

In this Thanksgiving season, we are truly grateful for the things God has given us but are we thankful for eternal life (Ecclesiastes 3:11)? We find ourselves living in this material world thus forgetting the spiritual. Which is really important? Which is temporary?

Romans 10:9 “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

Van Yandell is a retired Industrial Arts teacher, an ordained gospel evangelist and commissioned missionary, from Fredonia, Kentucky. This is part of the Bible Connection series.