By Lisa Huddleston
“A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots … so it withered. Some fell in the weeds … and nothing came of it. Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams.” (Mark 4:3-8).
My routine has been disrupted this week. My sweet friends who usually walk with me in the mornings have been unable to go and that has left me without the motivation I need to get moving. I’ve lingered too long over my morning coffee, watched too much tv, and dragged through my day without structure. Who knew this morning habit had become so important?
Obviously, God did, and that’s why he’s gotten my attention with this familiar story. So many times I have misread this tale. Even with Jesus’ careful explanation attached, I have assumed no responsibility for the harvest in my own life. The randomness of the sowing always seemed to imply that I had no control, but every gardener knows that is not the case. Soil can be tended. It can be prepared for the seed. And that is the message I needed to learn this week.
You see, it’s amazing how many weeds can grow in a week. Worries about all the things I have to do and all the goals I need to accomplish. Anxiety over the tasks I haven’t completed and the chores I’ve pushed aside. In just one week, stress can nearly strangle the seedlings of hope that have been growing in my heart.
That’s why discipline is so important. Careful tending of the seed. Fastidious weeding of the soil. Deliberate removal of the rocks. And generous watering with the Living Water of God’s Word. Time well spent with intentional effort toward the good harvest.
And that is the lesson this week of aimless living has taught me. I do have a responsibility for the harvest, a responsibility to prepare good soil that embraces the Word with a flourish of growth. I want a harvest exceeding my wildest dreams!