In the traditional understanding of the parable of “The Sower and Seed,” the focus is often on the soil as a description of our hearts, of our openness to the word of God being sown into our lives. The soil/heart is described as a well-trod path, rocky ground, a bramble of thorns, or rich fertile soil. There is some insight there to be sure, but it does not necessarily give insight into a remedy. Some have described it as “the soil under your feet”. All one must do is to look down, assess the conditions where you stand in life, and move. Move to the rich fertile soil – and yes, along the way you will have to deal with birds, the weeds and the scorching sun.
At least two things stand out for me about the Sower: generosity and persistence.
Generous beyond measure as he sows the seed without regard to condition of the heart or where someone stands at a particular point in time. Some might say wasteful – I mean why sow seed on the well-trod path? Maybe a bird will scoop it up… and maybe just poop it out some place where it will thrive. Sorry for the perhaps too graphic option – but such are the possibilities when generosity is in play. Such is the nature of God. Generous with his love and invitations.
You have to admire God’s persistence. The Sower just rains down that seed knowing with each scatter the possibilities are endless and will be achieved: “Just as from the heavens the rain and snow come down and do not return there till they have watered the earth, making it fertile and fruitful, giving seed to the one who sows and bread to the one who eats, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; my word shall not return to me void, but shall do my will, achieving the end for which I sent it.” (Is 55)
Generous and won’t give up on us – no matter what we have done or failed to do. No matter if we are faithful disciples or prodigal children, if we are Peter the rock or Peter who denied Christ, or if we are just you and me trying to get by a life whose journey consists of well-trod path, rocky ground, a bramble of thorns, and rich fertile soil.
This parable and others, all the stories and accounts of Jesus – all are invitations to a deeper life-long relationship with our Savior. It is the “one”? The one to whom we might utter the words, “I love you. I cannot imagine life without you. I would die for you.” Words of deep love between lover and beloved. Words our Savior has already spoken like rain and snow come down to water the earth. Words spoken generously, spoken persistently. Words awaiting a reply so that they will achieve their end.