Perhaps it’s just me who wants to have an impact. I wish I could honestly claim that I want that purely for the betterment of others, but I want to have an impact for selfish reasons. Perhaps not only selfish reasons, but they make up part of my thinking and desire to have an impact.
In the “culture” or “economy” of the “Kingdom of God”, it’s not about me, but about the King. The King loves me, He has my back, and I am at His service. He calls me to wait, worship, and walk before Him. And my life is all about Him, in reality. In my imagination, I hold out hope for a “leading role”.
In the “Parable of the Soils” (Matthew 13:1-9, Mark 4:1-9, Luke 8:4-8), Jesus describes a “sower sowing seed”. In the parable, the seed is the word, Jesus’ preaching. The soils are those who hear (“The one with ears to hear, let him hear”). The different soils represent the different ways people receive what Jesus teaches.
A parable, only in Mark also has a sower sowing seed. If the elements relate the same way, then this parable tells the story of the part played by the sower.
He also said, “The kingdom of God is like someone who spreads seed on the ground. He goes to sleep and gets up, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. By itself the soil produces a crop, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. And when the grain is ripe, he sends in the sickle because the harvest has come.”Mark 4:26-29 NET
This parable is about the seed growth, but also about the part played by the sower. You and I, we are sowers. We spread about the teachings of Jesus to those who might actually hear. Those who hear, the “good soil”, produce up to a 100-fold of what is sown by you and I. But we don’t make them produce.
Did you catch the phrase in the middle of the parable, “…, though he does not know how.” Even though the “farmer” plows, plants, waters, and tends the crop, he truly doesn’t make it grow. I thought this might be different for modern farms but it isn’t. They still depend on the things they can’t control, like the amount of rain and snow fall in a year.
We try so hard to control our part in the Kingdom of our Savior. Or we avoid His Kingdom because we want to spend our time where we can “have an impact”. We desperately want this world, “our world”, to be about us. And it’s not. What a relief.
I don’t have to be good enough, know enough, or even have mad skills. That’s great, because I don’t have any of those three. And even if I did, it still wouldn’t be about me. I can’t possibly know enough to “save” anyone. It doesn’t work that way. Jesus died for us. He didn’t take an exam for us.
Good enough? I can’t get through a day without being a jerk. And my Savior sits with me anyway, pats my leg as He stands, and says, “Come on, let’s go for a walk.” Really? Why would the One forming stars want to go on a walk with me? I’m a jerk. I’m selfish. And yet, we walk.
What are you? Have you caught that the truth that the Kingdom of God is not about you is the good news? That is the “word” we sow. That the kingdom is about the King, and not about us, our politics, our philosophy, our religion, or our “mad skills” is the content of the word.
Jesus died and rose for us. Jesus did that. He is the central character in this play. Our world, your world, is about Him. It is about Him loving you, how He enables, empowers, and protects your walk with your Creator. It’s about Him. The seed grows, though we are completely in the dark about how.
I walk with my Creator. No other feature to my life truly matters. You can walk with your Creator. No other feature of your life truly matters.
So, scatter seed. Pitch it out there. Sure, it will fall among thorns, you know what it’s like to have thorns in your life. Some may fall on rocky ground. You know how hard it can be to find depth in your life. Some may fall on the hard ground, and be stolen.
But some will fall on good ground. And, when it does, go ahead and do your due diligence. But, the point will still be your Savior’s work in a person’s life. Relax into the peace and joy of all this being about the One who does know enough, is good enough, and Who has “mad skills” we could never imagine.
Perhaps the “Parable of the Secretly Growing Seed” will lead us into authentic worship, into peace, and into joy. When He pats your leg as He stands, and invites you to go for a walk, go. Don’t worry about the seed. He’s got it taken care of.