Reflections about a Mustard Seed

I wrote this piece about five years ago and I am resurrecting it tonight because of its relevance to what I feel right now. I had read an article called the “Struggle for Faith”. The author suggested that “unless we are content to be intellectually, logically, and spiritually static, we must move in new directions, open up new avenues, and remain discontent (and restless) with what we presently know.”[i]

My walking journey represents the essence of not being static. I am constantly trying to move in new directions and open up new avenues. The avenue that I did not expect to open up is one of faith and spiritual growth.

For the purposes of this article, l define faith as “the conviction of things not seen”. This concept comes out of the Bible, Hebrews 11:3. I have read that “Spiritual development is dynamic and dialectical, that is, the art and practice of arriving at the truth through an exchange of logical arguments.[ii]

What is clear to me is that spiritual development is not linear and it does not necessarily result from logical arguments. My endeavor to walk device-free has evolved into preserving mobility. It has been a process of seeking and dwelling in sometimes if not frequent uncomfortable spaces.

In August of  2014, I wrote about one of those “uncomfortable spaces”. It was early on a Wednesday morning, I stared at my alarm clock and watched as the numbers changed from 12:00 AM to 1:15 AM. My body ached from the base of my shoulders to the bottoms of my feet. I was feeling the physical effects from my last training session.

At least twice a week, I train. The aftermath from a training session and the effect from new techniques we use can be prolonged. I have learned over time to expect the ache I was feeling in my upper and lower limbs.

I was also experiencing the effects of tactile hyper-sensitivity. When objects such as cloth or fabric come into contact with a person’s skin in a state of hyper-sensitivity, it can cause intense physical discomfort.  I have explained tactile hyper-sensitivity to others using the analogy of a shirt tag scratching a person’s skin. We’ve all had shirt tags that have scratched us between the neck and shoulder blades. Imagine not being able to remove the tag and having that scratching sensation travel up and down your back, arms, and legs and not stop.

As a child I heard sermons and stories about having faith, even if the belief and conviction is the size of a mustard seed. I have had to revisit the reference and analogy of the mustard seed many times.

A review of biblical and theological literature describes the mustard seed as the smallest of seeds. [iii] In one writer’s interpretation, the seed represents “small beginnings” compared to the “greatness of result”. [iv]

The author explains “The small seed of the present does not represent avenues of growth, development, or the final result.”[v]

Wiley’s Walk, my blog, and sharing this journey is about the growth and maintenance of my own ‘mustard seed’.

[i] Singarayar, J. (2014). The Struggle for Faith. Priest, 70(8), 23-24.

[ii] Sandage, S. J., Jankowski, P. J., & Link, D. C. (2010). QUEST AND SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT MODERATED BY SPIRITUAL TRANSFORMATION. Journal Of Psychology & Theology, 38(1), 15-31.

[iii] Harrington, D. J. (2008). Mustard, Wheat and Weeds. America, 199(1), 31.

[iv] Harrington, D. J. (2008). Mustard, Wheat and Weeds. America, 199(1), 31.

[v] Harrington, D. J. (2008). Mustard, Wheat and Weeds. America, 199(1), 31.

Portions of this article were originally published in the “Endless CapABILITIES Blog”, and National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability, sponsored by The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (www.nchpad.org). NCHPAD is part of the UAB/Lakeshore Research Collaborative and supported by Grant/Cooperative Agreement Number U59DD000906 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Did you like the blog? Leave a comment!