When it comes to yummy treats, children often don’t want to share.
When my father was a little boy, he and his brother would almost come to blows when it was time for dessert. There would be loud protests if one brother thought he was getting a smaller slice of pie.
So my grandparents came up with a rule: one brother would cut the pieces, and the other would get to choose his portion first.
The idea behind this arrangement was that if the pieces had been cut unequally by the first brother, the other would take advantage of this and choose the larger slice. So the boy cutting the pieces would want to make sure that they were as close in size as possible.
My dad or his brother would actually use a protractor to cut the pie to ensure that each slice was exactly the same angle. Each was determined not to let his brother get a larger piece!
This is a humorous story, but the attitude it portrays can linger in our thoughts as we become adults.
It can even affect how we view God’s beneficence.
We’re somehow afraid that when God divvies things up, there won’t be enough for us. We think that if God gives someone else certain blessings or gifts, it will mean less is available for us.
But God’s economy doesn’t work this way—it’s not a zero sum game.
What are the smallest seeds on earth?
You might guess mustard seeds. Close, but not quite.
How about poppy seeds?
They’re very tiny. You’ll find out how extremely tiny they are if you accidentally spill them on the floor. You’ll discover that you can’t pick them all up by hand: it’s hopeless. You have to bring out your vacuum. (Don’t ask me how I found this out!)
Actually, the tiniest seeds on earth are said to be those of certain orchids from the tropical rainforest. Each of these dust-like seeds weighs only one 35 millionth of an ounce. They’re smaller than a grain of salt.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, the prize for the largest seed on earth probably goes to the Coco-de-Mer palm tree of the Seychelles Islands. One of its seeds can weigh up to 45 pounds.
Mustard seeds are a bit larger than poppy seeds, but they’re still exceptionally tiny compared to most seeds.
They’re so small that Jesus used them as an example in one of His teachings. Surprisingly, He said that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we could see great things accomplished.
How is this possible?
Because when we have even a small amount of pure faith, God uses it as a force multiplier. Our tiny contribution somehow provides the spark for God’s power to show up in a big way.