As I was thinking about today’s parable (about sowing) – pondering measuring up – which, frankly, is one of the stumbling blocks to my relationship with God – something nudged me. “Open the ears of your imagination a little bit more, it called. Look again.”
I started thinking about seeds.
Have you ever noticed how wasteful the sower in this parable is? They throw their seeds everywhere! They don’t just stick with the plowed field. No, their seed goes onto every available surface, and there is huge amounts of it just thrown away! What are they thinking?
It’s not that the sower doesn’t know that seeds are unlikely to root and grow if they aren’t on the rich, tilled ground the sower has prepared for their crop. But the sower doesn’t care. They throw their seeds all over the place. Why are they so extravagant?
What are these seeds? What are these little kernels that Jesus tells us are words of the Kingdom? What exactly is the sower throwing out so wastefully?
Here’s the thing about seeds. They’re magic.
When you look at a seed, it’s tiny and kind of plain. If you hold one, they’re nondescript and uninteresting. But plant one in the ground and it’s a whole different story. The seed begins to change. A little knobby thing on one end begins to grow and become something different than it was to start with. It grows.
It pushes out and down and up until it no longer looks anything like it did to start. Finally the stem pops up out of the soil, and it is a whole new plant! And it keeps on growing until it has seeds of its own.
So. The word of the Kingdom is a seed – that word is alive. It grows. It changes. It’s not some bit of doctrine or a set of rules. It’s something that needs to be buried in our hearts, and allowed to lie dormant for a bit. And then it begins to transform itself – and the heart in which it is embedded.
It takes hold of the heart it is embedded in and spreads its roots throughout. It pops up out of the ground and grows some more. Pretty soon it’s making seeds of its own.
How would we describe that Word? How would we put words to that Word? It’s God telegraphing God’s love in whatever way we will hear it. God – creator of galaxies – loves each one of us, and yearns for a relationship with us. God longs for a real relationship in which we talk to God and listen for Them. God loves each one of us, and longs for us to see and speak to Them. God yearns for our dialogue with Them.
So God throws seeds everywhere. No matter what kind of soil you have been, no matter how well or badly you have received and nourished the seed of God’s love, no matter how you’ve been led away or scared away, you are always going to get another chance. Hundreds of other chances, really. God is never going to quit sowing the seed God would like to see growing in our hearts. And what we will finally discover when the seed finally grows well in us is that our relationship with God is where life itself is happening. It’s really the only game in town.