Today, I consider things that go to seed. The expression, “go to seed,” normally refers to loss; things that deteriorate, worsen, devitalize, or fall apart have “gone to seed.”
It’s a funny expression, especially when you think about gardening.
In gardening, allowing plants to “go to seed” means you let them enter into a new phase: seed production. The plants direct all their energy into a new generation. The resulting seeds will scatter and take root. Some gardeners claim that these seeds create the strongest, most durable plants. Going to seed, in this case, isn’t terrible; it’s wonderful and necessary. What looks like loss for the plant is really multiplying (too many to count!) growth.
I think about John 12:24 and how the seed that falls and dies produces many seeds. If it doesn’t fall, it just remains a single seed.
If we seem to the world that we’re deteriorating, falling apart, and losing our productivity–especially in these tasks of parenting, community care, and teaching young people–we think of it as going to seed. We’re directing energy into a new generation.
As we should.