The Quaker spiritual writer, Douglas Van Steere tells of
a potato farmer he once knew in Michigan. The man
was frugal to a fault. He was so tight that he planted
only the peelings of his potatoes as seed. He fed the
insides to his livestock.
His method worked fine in years when there was plenty
of moisture. But when the rains failed, he nearly always
lost his crop. In years of drought, only the farmers who
planted whole potatoes enjoyed a harvest.
Van Steere teaches that, in our spiritual lives, it’s only
when we plant the whole of ourselves, not just life’s
“peelings,” that we reap a bountiful harvest. He quotes
a line from the Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno:
“Sow yourselves, sow the living part of yourselves, in
the furrows of life.”