My son-in-law steered me to a more user-friendly way of gardening know as Square Foot Gardening—a precise way of designing, planting and growing crops that makes the most efficient use of space as well as seed. In fact, we’re instructed to plant only a few seeds into each particular hole in each particular one-square-foot plot mapped out in the dirt. This helps eliminate the need for pulling up tender shoots when there’s too much crowding for optimal growth (what a waste!), as well as to prevent wasting the seed.
It all sounds quite logical. So, naturally, I bought the book, and I’m waiting to put it to use.
That was several years ago.
Evidently, they didn’t use that method back in Jesus’ day either, to hear Him tell the story:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some of the seed fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seed sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plant soon wilted under the hot sun, and since it didn’t have deep roots, it died. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants so they produced no grain. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they sprouted, grew, and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Jesus uses the word “scattered”. In other words, we don’t know what seed will take root and what will not. What looks like a promising disciple-to-be may be a wolf dressed up in white, fluffy wool. Then there are the sheep in wolves’ clothing. (Think about that one for a minute…) I appreciate how the kingdom of God rarely meets the standards of human logic. I admire God’s use of paradox and counter-intuitive solutions. I love that God is prodigal!
Prodigal is not usually a term applied to God, since we tend to associate it with the “prodigal” or wayward son in another of Jesus’ parables. But the accurate definition of prodigal is extravagant. And that certainly describes God—
–His unending love
–the eternity He has prepared for us (and the list goes on.)
He calls us to be likewise extravagant, prodigal, and not wholly logical or efficient, (in the world’s eyes, that is), in the spreading of His very, very good news.
Because only He knows what good soil looks like.
Mark 4:3-8 Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.