A Sower Went Out to Sow Some Seed...
So goes last Sunday's gospel. I could relate. You see, they put my lawn in on Friday, and I'd just spent three hours Friday and seven hours Saturday watering 50,000 square feet of seed and straw, on a very hot summer's weekend. Sunburned, and tired, I had trouble concentrating on Fr. Amedeus' message, but I could certainly relate to the parable, because then came the rain. Sunday's "gulley washer" had put a lot of the seed onto walkways, and rain-exposed rocks, not to mention several large areas of topsoil which had washed thin. I felt as though all that work and expense had been for naught, and I would be lucky to have a lawn this year.
Monday I called the landscaper to ask, what do I do NOW? "Don't worry", he said. "The good ground will take hold of the seed, and yes, you may have some bare spots, but eventually the grass will take over the whole lawn. If not this year, then next Spring. You just keep watering it, and I'll throw down some more fertilizer in a few weeks." Then he said something that surprised me. "Trust me; I've been at this for many years and know what I'm doing." I reflected on his words, and the words of the scripture that evening, and suddenly this parable that had often terrified me, was seen in a different light. I'd like to share my thoughts with you.
I've always been afraid that the seeds of faith, sown in my life might not have fallen on "good ground". That somehow, my sins and shallowness would choke out this faith, and in time I might drift away from The Lord. I mean, how can I predict the future? How does anyone know whether they're rocky, shallow, or good ground? I'd never considered the possibility that we're actually all three. Sometimes hard; sometimes shallow; but sometimes sincere and "deep". So maybe I've been asking the wrong question concerning this passage from Matthew 13. Maybe it's not so much a matter of what type of ground I am, as what am I doing with the "good ground" part of me? Am I keeping it watered with prayer, communion, and Bible study? Am I keeping it fertilized with good works? [Father's "manure" reference drew a few chuckles Sunday evening, but hey, St. Paul calls his good works "dung", which can just as likely be seen as fertilizer, and not necessarily "garbage". Especially when God is at work.] Perhaps I've spent too much time worrying, and not enough time growing in The Lord?
So I've resolved to 'trust Him. He's been at this for many years, and knows what He's doing'. And as long as I keep watering and fertilizing, the good ground will indeed take hold, and eventually 'produce a hundred, or sixty or thirtyfold' (Mt 13:8). I'm actually looking forward to getting out there this week, and watching the grass grow while I keep it watered!