He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” – Matthew 13:31, 32
The popular saying is “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” It warns us agains the dangers of pre-judging something on first appearance. And how tempting and natural it is for us to do that.
It’s the same with judging the ending of something by its beginning. Some things start off with a bang and end up with a whimper. But I am more concerned with things that have the opposite trajectory.
Things that begin small and even stay small for a while – the temptation is to quit on them and discard them. We may think that staying with them is a waste of time. But what about a different way of looking at it.
In the parable spoken above, Jesus in teaching his followers, lifts up the value of small beginnings. He affirms the mustard seed. And he points out that even something that small can produce a huge tree. That’s the power of a seed.
I look at every idea as a seed. Someone said you can count the number of seeds in an apple but you can’t count the number of apples in a seed. One seed can produce a tree that produces many apples that produce many seeds each that each can produce a tree and so on. You can’t count it.
What if ideas that start off small in their execution actually give birth to other ideas. Maybe that program or business never grows big but what if it inspires others to try new things and even learn lessons from it. Maybe it becomes an incubator for dreamers and innovators. Maybe that project gives energy to you the dreamer to come up with other ideas.
So maybe you are managing a small project born from an idea. Consider it a seed. Know that you never know what it can become. In fact you can’t even count the fruit that it can produce.