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Seeds and such

I have blisters on the palms of my hands, and my shoulders have that we're-gonna-hurt-you-tomorrow-buddy feeling. Why? Because I spent a good portion of this beautiful Spring day (temps in 70Fs) tilling, raking and seeding the front lawn. For the first time in my life. By myself. With equipment powered not by gas or electricity but by muscle. I must say, a deep appreciation for gardners of the frontier era did cross my mind. But something else also crossed my mind--and I must give credit for that to my Master Gardner friend Karen.

Originally, I was just gonna spread the seed across the many bare spots of the yard and hope for the best, but Karen gently reminded me of Jesus' Parable of the Seeds. It really works that way, she said. You can't just spread seed across hard ground and expect it to grow. The rain will run it off or the birds will eat it up.

Her words stuck with me as I twisted, flipped and raked the sometimes-rock-hard soil of my front yard. It took a lot of time. And attention. And there was no skipping spots, because if I did that spot wouldn't grow seed. And I wondered: Does it take this much work to prepare the soil of people's hearts--my heart? I must admit, my respect for the Spirit rose substantially then--that's one heck of a tiller. As I pulled the sprinkler from one part of the yard to the other (you have to drench the seeds and make sure the soil stays moist until they start growing), I thought about the vigilance and discipline I'd have to exert over the next couple of weeks in order to make all the work I put in today to pay off. And I couldn't help but examine myself: Is that the kind of care I take for those around me? Do I pray for others with such vigilance? Do I pay attention with such discipline? And when I looked at my hands with the blisters bubbling up and rolled my aching shoulders, I realized how unaccustomed I was to this kind of work. Am I the kind of person who gets blisters and sore shoulders working with Jesus? Or are my hands and muscles used to his way of life by now?

Like the grass seeds I sowed in my front yard, these questions were planted in my soul.

(Image: Public Domain via Wikipedia)