In the Far East the emperor was growing old and knew it was time to choose
his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he
decided to do something different. He called young people in the kingdom
together one day. He said, “It is time for me to step down and choose the
next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you.”

The children were shocked, but the emperor continued. “I am going to give
each one of you a seed today – one very special seed. I want you to plant
the seed, water it, and come back here one year from today with what you
have grown from this one seed. I will then judge the plants that you bring,
and the one I choose will be the next emperor.”

One boy, named Ling, was there that day and he, like the others, received a
seed. He went home and excitedly, told his mother the story. She helped him
get a pot and planting soil, and he planted the seed and watered it,
carefully. Everyday, he would water it and watch to see if it had grown..
After about three weeks, some of the other youths began to talk about their
seeds and the plants that were beginning to grow. Ling kept checking his
seed, but nothing ever grew. Three weeks, four weeks, five weeks went by,
still nothing. By now, others were talking about their plants, but Ling
didn’t have a plant and he felt like a failure. Six months went by — still
nothing in Ling’s pot.

He just knew he had killed his seed. Everyone else had trees and tall
plants, but he had nothing. Ling didn’t say anything to his friends,
however. He just kept waiting for his seed to grow. A year finally went by
and all the youths of the kingdom brought their plants to the emperor for
inspection. Ling told his mother that he wasn’t going to take an empty pot.
But his mother asked him to be honest about what happened.

Ling felt sick at his stomach, but he knew his mother was right. He took his
empty pot to the palace. When Ling arrived, he was amazed at the variety of
plants grown by the other youths. They were beautiful — in all shapes and
sizes. Ling put his empty pot on the floor and many of the other children
laughed at him. A few felt sorry for him and just said, “Hey, nice try.”

When the emperor arrived, he surveyed the room and greeted the young people.
Ling just tried to hide in the back. “My, what great plants, trees, and
flowers you have grown,” said the emperor. “Today one of you will be
appointed the next emperor!”

All of a sudden, the emperor spotted Ling at the back of the room with his
empty pot. He ordered his guards to bring him to the front. Ling was
terrified. He thought, “The emperor knows I’m a failure! Maybe he will have
me killed!”

When Ling got to the front, the Emperor asked his name. “My name is Ling,”
he replied. All the kids were laughing and making fun of him. The emperor
asked everyone to quiet down. He looked at Ling, and then announced to the
crowd, “Behold your new emperor! His name is Ling!”

Ling couldn’t believe it. Ling couldn’t even grow his seed. How could he be
the new emperor?

Then the emperor said, “One year ago today, I gave everyone here a seed. I
told you to take the seed, plant it, water it, and bring it back to me
today. But I gave you all boiled seeds that would not grow. All of you,
except Ling, have brought me trees and plants and flowers. When you found
that the seed would not grow, you substituted another seed for the one I
gave you. Ling was the only one with the courage and honesty to bring me a
pot with my seed in it. Therefore, he Is the one who will be the new

If you plant honesty, you will reap trust. If you plant goodness, you will
reap friends. If you plant humility, you will reap greatness. If you plant
perseverance, you will reap victory. If you plant consideration, you will
reap harmony. If you plant hard work, you will reap success. If you plant
forgiveness, you will reap reconciliation. If you plant faith, you will reap
miracles. So be careful what you plant, now; it will determine what you will
reap tomorrow. The seeds you now scatter will make life worse or better for
you or for the ones who will come after you. Someday you will enjoy the
fruits or you will pay for the choices you make.

Two thousand years ago someone else told the same story with fewer words,
“What you sow, so shall you reap”. If you know who said this, nothing else
needs to be said.

— Author Unknown

About Roger Overweg

Interest include: Nature photography, Detroit Tigers, I'm a Spiritual, Meditative, analysis, Divorce, Spirituality, Weather, Chicago Cubs, Talk radio, Lighthouses, Medicine, Meditation, Hiking, Fishing, Short wave radio, Bible, Holy Bible, News, Newspapers, Photography, Baseball, God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Coffee, Prayer, Freash-water-fish-aquarium. Reading, Books, Lakes, Streams, Dunes, Devotionals, Philosophy
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1 Response to THE SEED

  1. I’ve read the story of Ling before but it is always good to read it and consider it again.

    Though fantasy it contains so much truth. Whatever we sow, we will reap. That is true in all areas of life. May we never be slow to sow love and kindness and the seeds of the Gospel whenever we have opportunity and to whomever we meet.

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