Persist- Plant Your Trees

planting trees

Inspired Vision + Willingness to stick = Victory!

Don’t let what you can’t do interfere with what you can do.

– John Wooden

He’s internationally known, even a documentary about his life has launched. He’s the ultimate “Keep on keeping on” guy from the 1970s slogan.

Padma Payang’s big adventure started in 1979. His river island was being slowly swept down the river by annual floods. He noticed that native animals that need shade to survive were migrating on to other locations. The island was becoming desolate.

At age sixteen Padma Payang, aka, “Forest Man” began planting trees. Daily. For thirty-nine years. Without missing a day. That amounts to tens of thousands of trees over hundreds of acres.

Dream Big

You say you’d love to have a vision like that, but you don’t have any resources. Padma didn’t have any either. He had to hustle to find seeds for a long time. No one stepped in to help him. His comment was, “It became a lot easier to plant when people started giving me seeds.” You have to wonder what he did before then. The Burpee Seed Company’s catalog hadn’t made it to his island. He hustled to get seeds. In time, his story spread and people joined up with their seeds.

The lesson of his life – if you show up, keep planting one seed at a time, the rewards are spectacular.

Paul wrote to a group of struggling folks,

“Do not grow weary in doing good”

2 Thessalonians 3:13, NKJV

Elsewhere he continued that thought-

“So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all…”

Galatians 6:9-10, MSG


“Leave, and the net will appear.”

You may have heard that sentence stated differently.

When you start to act on your inspired vision the supply of God will manifest in your path.

Start. Just start. That means action, not just thinking. It means going, explicitly going out. As you go, the supply will come.

An interviewer asked Bob Dylan how he got from his hometown of little Hibbing, Minnesota to the big city to become famous. He said, “I ran away from home nine times and only returned eight.”

What’s your version of Hibbing, Minnesota? If Dylan had stayed put chances are the most anyone would have heard of him would have been weekend visitors to the local Holiday Inn.

Leaving requires a risk – a willingness to step into what is not guaranteed.

As you risk, you activate the presence and power of God. When you step outside the confines of predictability, it’s then that your supply will come.


“Veni, Vedi, Velcro” — “I came, I saw, I stuck around.”

Are you older than sixteen? You may not have another thirty-nine good years in you to plant your version of the trees. That’s okay. Plant your seeds and let the outcome dangle. Don’t worry about the turn out. All you and I can do today is continue to plant. The results? That’s God’s problem!

Steve has spoken, mentored and modeled to churches and leaders around the world with the simple message that anyone – regardless of their gifting or experience – can be involved in bringing God’s loving kindness to others. His first book, Conspiracy of Kindness has been translated into several languages with more in the works. His first book has sold over 300,000 copies. Altogether his books have sold over 500,000 copies.