I’m not a farmer. I never have been. Raising and tending crops from seeds to harvest is something I have never done. However, I grew up around agriculture. My Dad was actually a soil scientist. It was his job to help farmers all over Southern Oregon and extreme Northern California know exactly which nutrients to add to the soil and which crops to rotate when in order to get the most out of the land. I didn’t learn any of that from him.
This week we focus on the parable of the Sower and I wish I had been more curious about Dad’s job while he was around. It’s not so much preaching this parable that makes me feel that way. The real issue is that I just replanted our entire front yard. I did say planted – not with new sod, ready to go, but with 1,500 grass plugs, meticulously placed 12 inches apart, in the hope that they will spread and fill in and be beautiful. I could go into the reasons we decided to go this route, but that is not relevant to what I am getting at here. If you are curious you can ask and I’ll be glad to share.
My point here is this. I find myself being much more anxious about these little grass plugs than I ever anticipated I might be. Truly, I realize that if this little experiment fails and all of these little grass plugs dry up and blow away, it is not going to ruin my life. It wouldn’t lower my value as a person. It certainly isn’t an issue that affects my eternal soul. Still, when I think of losing these little green fuzzy-blade-headed guys and girls, I go into a minor panic. I am spending every minute I can spare right now doting over every little grass plug, rooting for it to survive and thrive. That is kind of weird, I know, but I can’t help it. I loved and planted and watered and fertilized and would even sing to these little plugs if I thought it would help. I told you, it’s kinda weird!
Reading the Parable of the Sower this week I have a new appreciation for God. Funny how often that happens when I dive into a passage for more than a cursory reading! It strikes me in the head and in the heart simultaneously how much God must long and ache for each of us to grow to be exactly what he intends for us to be. I will ache and agonize over every little grass plug over the weeks and months ahead. How much more has God ached and agonized over every decision I have made in my life that has directed my course? How much must he care for each of us? Can we even begin to understand and truly be moved by how much he wants each of us to thrive and produce fruit in His kingdom: to live up to the vision He has for us?. How much more valuable are you than my little grass plugs? All I can say is…a lot!
In this parable, if God is the sower and I am either the seed or the soil, I want to grow to meet his desired expectations. That’s a strong motivation for me. I hope it is for you. And for the record, I am asking Him to bless and grow my little grass plugs too. I think that’s the kind of little thing He likes to do.