Sorting the Seed

By Kalengule Kaoma

Advancements in plant genetics and engineering has brought higher yields, control of plant disease and pest control, fuller taste and better color to our fruits and vegetables. Other benefits include longer shelf life and drought-resistant crops. Scientists take time to produce good seed in order to produce more food for the world.

In her simple ways, my mother was also a plant geneticist. She analyzed our available seed and planted only those that produced a bountiful crop. She taught my siblings and me how to identify and preserve good seed and how to discard seed without potential.

Seed is not the only thing that needs careful sorting before being spread. In my mother’s language (Cibemba), there is a proverb that goes, "Amano balondola nge mbuto." In English, this is close to,"Wisdom and knowledge are harvested and preserved like good seed."

One ancient sage, King Solomon, encouraged his citizens to "get wisdom, get understanding; do not…swerve from them" (Proverbs 4:5). Wisdom must be preserved like good seed.

When I was young, I often heard my uncle say, "Maize seeds will always produce maize." Of course! A farmer plants and grows only what he is expecting to harvest. Wisdom works the same way. Whatever good or bad we teach our children as families and communities or societies, that is what we will see in the lives of our offspring and their world.

The apostle Paul wrote, "Do not be mocked, you reap what you sow" (Galatians 6:7). I wonder what kind of future is in store for our communities after this generation passes. After one good seed dies, it gives birth to many more good seeds. "Amano balondola nge mbuto."

May we harvest wisdom and sow it in other people.

copyright 2008

Kalengule Kaoma lives in Zambia, Africa, and is a mission director for a number of African nations.

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