“A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up….
Jesus again is talking the language of the farmer, and again a sower is sowing seeds. In this parable it is not the evil weed that the farmer has to contend with, but it is where that seed lands. It is a parable and its message has at least as many choices as does that seed in flight. As the parable goes that seed can land on rocky ground, among thorns, and fertile ground. It is the fertile ground that produces the desired fruit. While that parable prompts one to think of all of the things that prevent the word of God from being fruitful. It also tells what that word has to endure in order to bear fruit. While so many times I read this parable and view its instruction on who to be, suddenly I read it as a description of what that word must travel through in order to bear fruit. Its rocky soil can at once be interpreted as the word not nourished for lack of instruction, or study, or contemplation; the word can also suffer the same fate through trivialization. The first are depravation through a lack of action and the last is through an active event. The word of God is often trivialized so that is does not bear fruit.
The same is true for the analogy of thorns. While the good news might be ignored simply because there are so many fun things to do besides studying scripture; many times obstacles are deliberately placed in front of those gospels. They are placed there to mask the truth as in propaganda, or spin the truth to suit another’s agenda. One view of the thorns is distraction, while the other is malice.
The two ways of looking at this parable is my action or inaction, versus the actions that occur around me. Sometimes it is not about trying to determine where that seed will fall, but also to be observant as to where it has fallen. The truth is that few people are lucky enough in life to always be sitting in fertile soil. Many times, if not most times, we do reside in those hostile environments as described by the rock and thorns. Many times we land in those places in ways beyond our control. It is protecting that word which has been given to me, so that I might safely bring it to fruition. And that means walking through some pretty hostile and unforgiving territories.