Planting Seeds

2019-07-08

Coaching is not an instant gratification sport. Humans, as we know, take time to change. And I knew all this in my head. But my feelings don't always align with reality. And this was the mental state I found myself in during a recent mentoring conversation. I'd been working on coaching some colleagues for a few months, but... I wasn't seeing a lot of results. I was somewhat frustrated, and a tad worried. Perhaps I was doing it the wrong way. I was new at this after all. It's not like I was expected results day 1 either...

So stuck in my millennial instant-gratification frame of mind, I asked. What should I do when I can't tell if I'm being successful? My mentor asked me what I felt about coaching. Anything worth having will take time, I said. Sound, loving marriages aren't built in a day for instance. He agreed, and offered a metaphor: Planting seeds. He elaborated; Suppose you take a kid learning baseball. You see that spark of talent, if only you could get the right technique. Mind you , the kid's only 5. You coach them, but at 5 they're just not progressing. So, do you quit? Do you wait until their 10 to teach them? Maybe 15, or 20, once they're done growing and their coordination improved? No! You teach them now. Even if you don't see the results today, 10 years from now, the seeds will bloom. When the child has grown with the technique and skills you imparted to them, one day it will click. Oh! This is what Coach meant when he...

As he said this, I could not help but think of another teacher who didn't get to see the seeds he planted come into bloom. Jesus had to sow seeds without seeing them bloom too. And speaking of remembering, he too seemed to recognize the need for time to pass. As he ascended, he promised the Holy Spirit would bring his teaching to remembrance. Jesus didn't get to see growth of the seeds he planted in them while he was on earth. Yet, he still planted the seeds. If the greatest teacher still had to wait for his students to understand, I guess I shouldn't worry. Even if it takes 10 years or longer! And that is an encouraging thought.