Spring is here, the timid sun appears occasionally, the rain falls sideways, the soil is rich coffee and deep earth, the grass brilliant emerald, but our lawn is a patchwork of bison hide assaulted by a tipsy barber. So, I decided to begin the process of re-seeding the lawn to bring out the “spring” in our terra firma. I thought at first that some weed-and-feed might be a good start. Breaking out the old bag smelly pellets (a little damp from years of neglect) I dumped contents of the bag into the hopper of the seed distributor, and began wheeling and dealing the chemical cocktail. It became apparent to me that since the scientifically enriched chemical cocktail was wet, that it would not funnel out of the ejector, no matter how hard I shook the “deal-of-the-day” contraption. After considering several options, I settled on the ol’ shovel. This faired somewhat better, if it weren’t for the clods that had coagulated from humid and dry spells. These I had to break apart by hand and crush so I could spread out the feed. It didn’t take long before I became impatient and started to rush the process, spilling larger-than-intended amounts on the bald, dead, patches. When my work was done, I saw how poorly distributed the feed was. But time was short, so I moved into the next process of throwing down grass seed. Again, I attempted to utilize the seed distributor, only to discover that the opening was not an efficient way of dropping seed, so I chose the hand approach. As I was sprinkling seed onto the ground, the words of Jesus came to my mind from Matthew 13 “A sower went forth to sow.” The physical reality of spreading seed by hand and the parable of the sower became incredibly real to me. The end result as I looked around the yard was a incomprehensibly poor reflection on my sowing abilities. Some seed pilled in heaps, others scarcely noticeable, scattered the bare patches too sparse to have hope for spring to call them out, others still ran the edges of the road, no hope of ever seeding, but there were others that fell on good soil. The thing about re-seeding, is that the retailers suggest that the soil be raked so that the seed has a better chance to take root. Tough soil = poor growth. I had not taken the time, I was in a hurry. Weeks later, the barren patches of dirt pay tribute to my rushed efforts.
The Word is the message concerning the Kingdom of God, and the soul represents the heart condition of those who hear the message. Some people have hard hearts, and do not understand. Others have sensitive hearts, readily accept the message but wilt away because the seed does not take root; these are shallow believers. Another hearer has good soil, but the treasures of his heart become gods in his life, and so worry and riches kill the growth of the message in his heart. An untilled heart filled with weeds and worries will kill a crop. An untilled heart lacking depth will wilt. A hard heart will not even seed. Decisions now, and receptiveness now is the tilling of the heart by God. Many make decisions that will lead to hardheartedness, others will make decisions that will welcome gods into their hearts. And still others are so emotionally driven, that they do not accept the message with understanding, and their hearts are shallowly cultivated. What kind of heart do you have? Are our hearts cultivated, and ready for “the engrafted Word, which is able to save [y]our souls” (James 1:21)? Each week when we are given the privilege of standing before God as a community of believers. Each week we encounter the worries and cares of the world. Each week is a time of preparation and cultivation as God tills and works our hearts into receptivity and sensitivity to His message. “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”