Faith of A Mustard Seed

Let’s talk about faith this month. I am not talking about religious faith. I mean the basic nature of what it means to have faith. A lot of us grow up in church being told that we must have the faith of a mustard seed and that’s good too, but when we get down to the root of faith – what is it, really?

We will begin this discussion by taking a look at the mustard tree. There are three types of mustard trees – black, white and brown. Hmm – doesn’t this resemble our human race? – Just a thought. This tree can grow in any climate – from arid and dry to wet and cold. It also can grow in less than ideal soil such as clay. Oh – here’s a good feature - the tree grows back if it is cut down so there’s no need to worry about losing it, if someone accidently bulldozes it down - and if that isn’t enough, its draught tolerant too.

Now, what is a tree grown under such conditions used for? One of the uses is as a natural laxative. It’s also a wonderful source of magnesium, calcium and potassium. In addition - mustard plants are used as anti-inflammatories, stimulate blood circulation; it helps with respiratory problems and increases arterial pressure. Mustard baths also help to alleviate headaches, colds and coughs. 

Have you ever had a mustard poultice placed on your chest? – I have. It is great for pneumonia, asthma and bronchitis. I was constantly, hacking and sneezing as a kid, growing up with allergies that sometimes turned into bronchitis. There is nothing like having to lay with a poultice on your chest, as a kid. I hated it, but loved the results.

So, you see – the mustard tree has great value. All the hard work it goes through to grow and produce its bounty of seeds and leaves is worth it.

Where am I going with this, you say? Don’t you know by now? – All the work you are going through – the trials, pain, headaches and tears are worth it. You are of great value – not only to yourself, but to the world. You are being forged and tempered. The goal is for the diamond that is YOU to become clear of any mud that is blocking your radiance. Having your diamond cleaned causes you to not only see your true value but also to know how best to be of value to others.

Remember the hero in the stories you read and saw in Movies? Each of them had to go through trials and tests to gain whatever goal they were going on a quest for. The story rarely begins with the hero being aware of his or her gifts. They usually end up going through tremendous work to discover their inner strengths. Those strengths are an asset and of benefit to all. What is it that keeps the hero moving forward toward the goal? In my opinion it is "faith” They have faith that the goal is worth it. I know this is a very simple example, maybe too simple but the point is – you are a hero too.  You have value and a purpose for being. You may not know it but all the ways you help another person or animal is an example of your value. Even a smile given to a stranger is of benefit. You never know, maybe that person was uplifted by seeing you smile.

Think about this, how many people do you know who have touched your life in a good way? These are the people you value.  In a sense – they are your hero’s. Take a look at their lives – how has life forged them into the people they are today? What trials have they been through? Would they be the same person today, if they hadn’t had those tests? What was it that caused them to keep going – to take the joy and the pain of life – to keep putting one foot in front of the other, even when exhaustion was evident?

I believe the answer is "Faith”. It is a willingness to not give up the fight for a goal that is valued. It is a belief in something greater than themselves – an ideal or idea of sorts. It isn’t about success as society defines success.  It is more about how the individual defines success. In society’s eyes, the person may be considered a failure but that doesn’t matter to the hero. The hero has his/her own definition of what constitutes success.

Have faith in yourself as the hero of your life’s story – you are worth it.

See you next month