Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul. For just as the wind carries thousands of winged seeds, so each moment brings with it germs of spiritual vitality that come to rest imperceptibly in the minds and wills of men. Most of these unnumbered seeds perish and are lost, because men are not prepared to receive them; for such seeds as these cannot spring up anywhere except in the good soil of freedom, spontaneity, and love.
Thomas Merton – New Seeds of Contemplation
Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.
(Mk. 4: 3-8 NIV)
My pastor spoke on the Parable of the Sower last Sunday, and I was surprised to hear his take on this passage, as I have always thought of it in reference to the seeds being the gospel. He suggested the parable is more about the soil, than the sower. That in fact, God is always sending seeds our way – every day - and our ability to accept that seed and give it root to grow is dependent on the condition of the soil in our garden.
It made me pause to think about the types of soil I have in my garden of life.
Seeds that have landed on my 'path' are those seeds God has sent that I have probably not even clued into, or ideas that are so out of the realm of my worldview that they get no traction – like noticing a bird singing, or the homeless person I didn’t even see as I walked by.
Seeds that are on my 'rocky places' are those that seem like good things to take on, but never seem to take root. For me I think about things like getting politically active (because something needs to be done about our economy, education, human rights (born and unborn), and ending poverty or slavery!!!)). I have great ideas, and get fired up in the moment, but don't have quite enough passion to fully take them on.
Seeds that seem to be blowing around me right now looking for good soil are coming from some of the life changes I am in the process of making. In a previous blog I shared about my getting healthier so as not to miss the good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do. Eph 2:8-10. An update – I have lost 50 lbs (I still have plenty to go) and have continued to exercise at least three times per week. I accomplished a few bucket list items this past summer: I water-skied/knee-boarded, and I climbed ‘Ha Ling’ in Canmore. I feel stronger and ready for what God has in store! But I wonder at times, if this new way of living is going to take root or will I go back to my old habits and gain back the weight? Will I allow the thorns of my busy life to choke out these goals.
I have also signed up for some classes at Ambrose University. In particular, I am taking a theology course that revolves around what the church’s response to Canada’s Residential School History should be. Asking questions like: Are we aware of the devastating history of First Nations in Canada and the effects it has had on their community? If we are called to love God, love our neighbours, and to love our enemies, do we love our First Nations’ neighbours? If not, do we want to change that? If so, what can we do to bring about reconciliation?
On a more general level, I think this has made me aware that God is continually trying to plant something in my soul every day. Do I notice? What kind of soil do I have to receive that seed? A hard heart? A passion that burns out quickly when work or sacrifice is required? A thorn-filled garden where my busyness, materialism, or fear choke out God’s calling? What seeds are landing on good soil, where God will work in me to produce a crop for the Kingdom of God?
How about you? What’s your garden looking like? Is God trying to plant something in you?
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash
Wendy is an evangelist, storyteller and teacher at heart, who loves to sit down with a cup of coffee and spend time with people,
especially women and youth, to share the immeasurable life Christ has to offer! She grew up in Newfoundland,
but has lived in Alberta since she moved to Edmonton after high school. Wendy and her husband David have 5 children (aged 8-21).
Wendy has taken on the role of Executive Director of Salem Acres after previously being involved for over 15 years as a volunteer.
Wendy is passionate about passing on her faith to the next generation by “loving God and loving people” and is
always excited to hear/share stories about how God is moving in the lives of his people.