Our church has been reading and listening through the New Testament during the season of Lent. The goal of this endeavor is to become more acquainted with the Scriptures that we profess so heartily yet spend such little time with. As we have been going through the Word the past few weeks, I've been astonished at how much the Spirit can do through such a simple act.
Jesus' teaching on the Sower is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke (the synoptics) and thus we can infer that it is pretty important teaching. The story goes that there was a farmer who went to sow seed, but the seed had problems taking root. Some of the seed was snatched up by birds, some of it fell on shallow soil that inhibited the growth of the seed, thus causing an immature plant to be scorched by the sun, and other seed fell among thorns, which choked the growth attempts of the seed. Then there is the good soil, which received the seed and there it flourished.
I wonder, if Jesus were to examine the soil of our hearts today, what would he find? Would he find shallow soil that is filled with the rocks of distraction, idols, and indecision? Would he find soil that is filled with the thorns of self-centeredness, deceit, and fear? I wonder what he would find.
The seed that fell on the good soil "took root". The seed on the shallow soil, "immediately sprang up, because there was no depth of soil". My heart is, more times than not, the shallow soil. I assume that if I do my Christian duty of spending a few minutes a day with God I am fulfilling what I am supposed to fulfill. But what a shallow approach! The seed of the Word, then, continually fails to take root.
Would that my heart be fertile soil. Would that I tend to the garden of my heart, digging up the weeds and clearing away the debris. Would that I clear time each day to calm down and receive the Word.
Because I know the power of the Word to change my heart, my life. But do I really want it to?