Watching Will tend our garden from start to finish this year has been very enlightening. The idea of gardening is romantic, but the reality of it is a lot of hard work. Hang with my description of the gardening process; I promise that it is going somewhere.
First, we had to dig up all the grass in that section of the yard to clear the plot. Then we had to cultivate it by digging some more and level it out so that we had this beautiful rectangle of soil ready for seeds. Some plants we started in doors, others we put the seeds straight into the garden. Then we watched, waited, held our breath, heard our stomachs growling, drooled over the veggies as they started sprouting, and then we finally started reaping a harvest! Home grown vegetables have so much vitality. Their colors are more vivid, and their flavors are more powerful.
Getting from tiny seed to overflowing harvest requires getting your hands dirty (and getting eaten alive by mosquitoes). You still have to cultivate the soil. You have to weed. You have to troubleshoot different pests that destroy the plants. You have to weed. You have to water. You have to weed. You have to tie up the plants that aren’t strong enough. You have to prune unnecessary branches. You have to pick the fruit so that more can grow.
Now, I am not trying to get you to convert to shopping at farmer’s markets and Trader Joe’s, nor am I telling you to go dig a hole in your back yard and build a composter, though that is on our to do list. What I am trying to get you to do is think about your own life. The garden of your life.
In Mark 4, Jesus talks about people and our hearts as different types of soil. Maybe these familiar analogies won’t be as poignant for you as they are for me; I know that they did not reach nearly so far into my heart before I started getting my hands dirty in the garden these last two summers.
So over the next few days I want us to get our hands dirty together. I want to explore the parable of the sower together. Jesus sandwiches this parable with the command to listen; to me that says somewhere in this garden he’s painting is hidden a quintessential truth for all who follow him. I want to go deep in to the different situations that are described. I want to use my experiences with Will and I’s garden to translate this parable into real life. I want to uncover what Jesus is saying about our hearts.
Please join me in this dig into the scripture as we see what heirloom truths it wants to plant in our lives.
The Scripture that we will be focusing on is Mark 4:1-20. Read through it and we will set in on our journey over the next several days. Part two will probably be showing up on Sunday following Happy Hour Friday and the Saturday Sweat.