Sunday, October 26, 2008

A Sower Went to Sow. Part II

Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times. - Mark 4:3-8

Again, my Sunday A.M. bible class talked about this great story as read in the book of Mark. And it’s interesting sometimes to read beyond “what’s in between the lines”. Again, I’ve heard this story before, and I have a pretty good handle on the basic meaning of the scripture. But from time to time, things just pop into my head, or rather, His word is revealed to me in greater understanding. But, the glaring question that I had this morning in class is this; Out of all the soil types that are mentioned in this story, how did the “good” soil become “good”? It’s obvious that the rocky soil that received the seed was rocky because no one bothered to pick up those rocks and move them. It’s also obvious that the path that received the seed was packed down from years of walking back and forth upon it. It was a functional piece of land allowing passage from one area to another. Also, the thorny land that received the seed was thorny because no one had bothered to take the time to remove the thorns and make that piece of land useable for crops. I’ve done just a bit of farming or gardening rather, enough to know that it’s not an easy job. During most of the growing season around in my area, it’s also a hot job too. Matter of fact, there’s not much I’d rather not do, than to pull weeds out of my flower beds. And if you’ve ever seen them, you would have to agree. I give my flowers a good head-start in the spring, but after that, they’re pretty much on their own. So, with a little thought, one could see that this “good” soil that is talked about in Jesus’ story possibly didn’t just happen that way. [Please don’t misunderstand me. I’m not reading something into Jesus’ story that is somehow different. I’m not changing the story to mean something else than what Jesus was teaching. I’m simply making an observation that the “good” soil more than likely took some work to make it good.]

I’m suggesting that my life or Christian walk is sometimes filled with things that make it hard for me to grow or produce as I should. I’m also suggesting that the stones and thorns that “crop-up” over time will have to be dealt with. I can either ignore the weeds, letting them continue to grow and spring up and take over my field or my life, or I can take the time to remove them. I’m also suggesting that IF I were to ever succeed in removing all the stones and thorns from my field, or life, that it would not remain that way without working hard to keep it that way. In fact, I’m also suggesting that from time to time, I’ve been known to carry a few large stones around and drop them into my field. How dumb is that? Then, I’ve been known to realize my mistake, and haul them off again. Some rocks I’m sure I don’t even notice any more, even if I happen to trip over them. I’ve realized that I’ve done that before. To trip over the same rock, and just keep on moving, never being bothered by its presence. Sigh.

My whole point to this is; I have control over my life, rather than someone else being responsible for my life. Whether I choose to act correctly or not, it is up to me how my life is tended and cared for. If I’m going to go through the season, barely getting by, sowing and reaping around all the rocks that happen to be just lying around and be less productive. Or, if I’m going to stay vigilant, and stay on top of those weeds and thorns and rocks this year, and not let anything defile my life – and reap a bountiful harvest. The choice is only mine. However, I realize that I cannot do it on my own. I need the help that comes from God, who watches over me and helps me when I can't stand on my own. Without God's help, all my efforts are in vain. But without my efforts, I'm doomed to fail, despite the help that God has already given me.

Am I Listening To What God Is Saying In His Word?

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