By H. Kent Aguillard
“Behold, the sower went out to sow; and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. Others fell on the rocky places, where they did not have much soil; and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. Others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears, let him hear.”
When I was young and full of myself, I had the opportunity to play college football. I remember the excitement as I prepared to leave my small hometown and head to the “Big City” and the University. Like most young men, there were 3 things on my mind most of the time. Walking the straight and narrow as I was taught to was not high on my list of priorities. I remember my mother’s stern look and drill instructor-like demeanor, “ Don’t you sow any wild oats, and if you do they better not come up.” Back then I wasn’t learned in literary disciplines but I knew exactly what she meant.
The word “sow” isn’t used much. Instead, we say “plant”. The above verse comes from a “parable”; a type of short story used to impart a moral or spiritual message. In this one the Lord used the illustration of a farmer planting.
This article is to get you to think about more than the daily grind.
The seed in the parable is like the seed you plant, not all of it grows and produces a harvestable yield. The seed in this parable is the Word of God. Although many hear it, it doesn’t produce fruit in most people. Some hearers begin with good intentions but something happens to prevent the “seed” from maturing. Weeds are a problem in farming and if not eliminated can harm yields. Do you “weed” your life, rid yourself of that which is not good?
Consider two questions. First, what kind of seed are you sowing? I am not, of course, referring to literal seeds like rice, corn, or whatever you plant. I refer to the words you speak or don’t speak, the actions you take or don’t take, the prayers you pray, and those you do not.
There is a saying, “I can’t hear what you’re saying because what you are doing is so loud.” Do your actions and words match? Do you encourage others or complain? If your grandchildren were asked what kind of things you say what would their answer be? What “seeds” do your children see you plant? My dad said “The best fertilizer is the footprints of the farmer.” I think you know what that means. Action and oversight.
Second, “Has the “seed” in the parable taken root in you and what has it yielded?”
You can plant seed, but you cannot make it grow. You can inseminate a female animal, but you cannot create life.
Despite all our advances in agriculture and science, we cannot create life. We can create an environment within which life can begin but we cannot create the egg, sperm, soil, seed, water, light, moisture, or nutrients. We plant and husband the seed and rely on “nature” to run its course.
Listen to wise people, seek them out. Watch over your fields, flocks, and herds. The second greatest gift a father can give his children is to love their mother. Sow good seed, in good soil, and do your part. God will do His.