There is a story about a traveler who came upon a barren hillside in the French Alps. In the middle of it, he saw an old man with a sack of acorns on his back and an iron pipe in his hand. The man was punching holes in the ground with the pipe and planting acorns in the holes. Later the old man
told the traveler that his wife and son had died, and this was how he spent his days. “I want to do something useful,” he said. Twenty-five years later the traveler returned to the same hillside. It was covered with a forest two miles wide and five miles long. Birds were singing, animals were playing
and wildflowers were blooming. The traveler was amazed at how beautiful the hillside was. The story reminds me of Jesus instructing us that “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain...” (Jn 15:16) The Lord intends for us to leave a good “crop “ behind us. He wants us to plant peace, reconciliation, generosity and love for neighbor on our own hillsides, so to speak. Wherever we are, in the totally unique place that is ours, we are to plant and water His kingdom. If we often see a world where envy, hatred, violence and many other destructive realities prevail, it is because the followers of the Lord, that is, you and I, are not taking our planting seriously. Perhaps today is as good time for us to examine the crop we are sowing. Will we leave behind a beautiful garden or a patch of weeds?