Coaches are change experts, facilitating change in others. So in an effort to understand the absolute principles of change and growth, let’s consider God’s blueprint for plant growth. Hidden in simple growing plants are the simple keys to transformation.
Most plant life usually starts with a very small beginning in a seed or a sprout. And this tender start must have moisture, depth in the soil and sufficient warmth for germination. Most of the new things in our lives start in a similar way. It begins often as a small idea for change or a passion for something different and fresh, other than the status quo. Sometimes the negative pressures of a situation will drive us to give this fresh idea for change a chance and thus plant it in the soil of our hearts deeply enough to sprout. In agriculture the larger the seed is, then the deeper it needs to be planted for germination to occur. We must embrace and commit to the change that we desire for it to have a chance. A fleeting hope usually doesn’t get us very far. Our desire sometimes requires a bit of desperation to keep us motivated for the change.
Here are four key principles of growth from plants to give us a grid to call out and support the changes that people are nurturing in their hearts:
- SEED IDENTITY: A plant stays true to its own identity from seed to the last leaf. Plants follow what they are designed to be, following the core of their nature in the kernel of their life from the beginning. Corn seed will always produce ears of corn with no deviation toward being a tomato. This should give us all hope that the blessing of our fruitfulness is in following the divine design created in us from our mother’s womb.
- PERSONAL SUNLIGHT: Plants are sustained by the penetration of light into their leaves at the cell level for the process of photosynthesis. This is a wonderful process where sunlight is changed into plant food as simple sugars. Being in the light of the Lord with our leaves up receiving, transforms His light into spiritual nourishment. For a plant there is no substitute for light and for us as Christians, there is no substitute for us walking and living in His light. We each must have that kind of personal connection and relationship with the Lord that is our daily source of life and growth.
- PERSONAL SPACE: Every plant must have its own soil. The Scripture says that we are plantings of the Lord, and that we are to be rooted and grounded in love. Each one of us must have our own experience of the love of God expressed from Him and through the community of His people. So the essence then is that our roots are anchored in this love: From the Lord and from our brothers and sisters in Christ. Also good soil must be “friable,” which means broken and soft, with the proper balance of air and water. Ephesians refers to the water of the Word, and air is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Thus our communion and community must have a healthy blend of “Spirit and Life” (air and water).
- A FARMER: Plant life needs it own personal conscientious farmer to look after it. The cultivated plants on the earth are the most productive and useful to mankind. Each crop originates in the heart and mind of the farmer who intentionally plants in the right seasons with a bountiful harvest in mind. Each crop has the critical and timely care of weeding, pruning and irrigation. The farmer is symbolic of the Lord’s direct oversight and shepherding of our lives directly and also to us through the ministry of our brethren in the body of Christ. To truly flourish each of us needs the tender oversight of care from those who love us.
It’s astounding to think that these principles are supporting almost all plant life throughout the whole planet earth! With all the natural destructive weather patterns of droughts and tornadoes etc. that happen from time to time, nothing has ever come close to stopping this growth, century after century. Growth is so powerful when these simple principles are followed! Can you imagine trying to stop the dogwoods in a forest from blooming when it is their time to bloom in the spring? Or holding back a pasture that is pushing up grass shoots under the warmth of the springtime sun?
As we follow the Lord in coaching, He so often directs us through our questions and His own tugging on the client’s hearts to bring them into alignment with these principles. When these all line up, we find that growth, change, and transformation all seem to happen organically as the grass jumps forth in the spring as an unstoppable result!