When I hear that expression “sower of seeds,” I think of a gardener, who grows beautiful flowers or has a prolific vegetable garden, or someone like a pastor, who plants seeds of God’s word within people each Sunday at church. I’m not sure I’d consider myself as a sower of seeds.
But after hearing the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8: 4-15) twice in the last few weeks, I’m beginning to change my thinking and also realize I need to pay attention.
In the parable, Jesus describes the farmer who spreads seeds on the path, the rocks, the thorns and the good soil. As he explains to his disciples what that means, he describes the types of people who hear the Word: for some it is quickly taken away (path); others hear it with joy but fall away quickly (rocks); still others accept the Word and it starts to take root but is choked by other cares and desires (thorns); and finally those within whom the Word sprouts and produces fruit.
Bill Hybels discussed that parable at the Global Leadership Summit, in broad terms of sowing seeds by developing programs within the church to attract more potential members. My own pastor, Chris Joiner, told the parable to the 6th graders in our Confirmation Class, in terms of their own faith journey. He told how we might be all 4 kinds of soil throughout the day, and if we produce fruit, then we have seeds within us to sow in others.
As I ponder these ideas more, I see many applications in my own life:
• In terms of my work at a nonprofit, encouraging our volunteers to see our clients where they are as they seek physical assistance, but also planting seeds of faith by praying with them and boosting their spirits.I also must be looking to recognize those God-appointments as they happen.
• In working with my 6th grade Covenant Partner in the Confirmation Class, guiding her and watering those seeds of faith through our journey to confirmation next year. I fully believe I will learn as much as she does.
• In my own faith journey, seeking instruction so that I am open to learning and sharing, whether that is through my quiet time in the mornings, formal worship on Sundays, or in conversation with others, online and in person throughout the week.
• With my writing, sharing openly my struggles and triumphs to hopefully encourage others and plant some seeds of hope.
We all have the potential to be the sower as well as the ground. I believe our humility allows us to be ready in those situations whether we are the seed or the soil. Keep your eyes open for opportunities!
How are you cultivating your heart and mind so you can produce more fruit?