It’s March—woo-hoo!! Know what that means here in the lower part of the Midwest?? Okay, yeah, tornadoes…but besides that? IT’S PLANTING SEASON!! Bring out the seeds and point me to the dirt! (Bob, honey, if you’re reading this, go ahead and just TRY to keep me away from the Walmart garden section…!)
I have some good friends who are professional farmers. The term, “professional farmer”, distinguishes them from gardeners, even Master Gardeners (which, as Bob will tell you, I am not.) Master Gardeners have it all together, but farmers, that’s a whole different category. We’re talking equipment that costs more than my house and car put together. Unfortunately, last harvest season our friends’ combine had an oil leak and caught fire….
Yeesh! Before it got this far, one of the guys was crawling through the machine trying to salvage some of the expensive equipment, like the GPS they use to know where to plant the seeds. Thankfully, there were no casualties, except the siding on the house nearby that melted, and the bank accounts of those involved.
Once again, farmers just amaze me, and have my upmost respect. Of course, in Jesus’ day, they didn’t have the fancy tech like my friends have today that helps feed the world. Planting was done much differently, and Jesus seemed to think it an apt metaphor for spreading His very good news:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”
At first glance, this seems quite wasteful—even I know how be a little more careful in my planting (not much, mind you, but a little.) And yet, Jesus likens this to teaching us to become “fishers of men”. Huh?
Here’s the point. Among my other temptations to not “sow” His good news is my own hidden selfish (and yes, even bigoted in some ways) perspective/bias/expectations that just out right get in the way. Here are some of things the Enemy might whisper in my ear:
- Don’t waste your breath.
- They already hate your guts so why would they listen?
- They’re too far gone. (This can be applied in a variety of ways, BTW.)
- I’m too far gone. (This one can also be applied in a variety of ways, particularly after working all day.)
Here’s what I seem to hear my Lord saying: Sow liberally, knowing that some of it will fall on unfruitful and even hostile ground. Sow anyway. Making the determination of what the soil of someone’s heart is like is not up to me. That’s in the Holy Spirit’s job description.
When it comes to planting the Gospel, He alone is God’s heavenly GPS.
Matthew 13:3-9 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved