Archive for May 4th, 2007

Soul Gardening

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Today’s scripture: Matthew 13:1-9; 18-23 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (Christen Peters):

I have always viewed these passages with something of a “that’s just the way it is” kind of attitude. Some people will hear and not understand (verses 4 and 19). Some people will be all gung-ho, then fall away the first time the going gets tough (verses 5-6 and 20-21). Some people will hear, but allow worldly matters to distract them (verses 7 and 22). And there are some people who will just plain get it (verses 8 and 23).

I’m led now, though, to consider these passages more as directives for growth than the absolutes I often thought them to be. This is the time of year when I begin working in my own garden and it’s given me a more visual picture of these words.

The first thing I have to do is to work the soil so that it will be receptive to the seeds I will sow. The seed can’t even begin to take root if there is no soft place for it to be. In the case of my spiritual garden, this means regularly taking myself to a place that allows me to really learn to understand the word of God. I open my soul by attending worship services and hearing the words of God explained and by regularly seeking opportunities to learn more.

Once the seeds I’ve planted begin to grow, they still need regular attention. I can’t just wipe my brow and walk away. The plants have to be tended with regular watering and feeding in order for them to grow deep roots. My soul needs the same thing. Daily quiet time — whatever form that takes — is one of the key ways my soul gets its sustenance.

As grow the plants, of course, so grow the weeds. It is up to me to pull the weeds and protect the plants. The same is true of my soul. The weeds of this world are everywhere I turn — and sometimes I don’t recognize that they are draining my time and energy until it is too late. Having a close-knit group of friends to “pluck the weeds”, or at least point them out is very important. This may be a study group, a ministry team, or an oasis group. These are the people that see and know me best — the ones that care about the path I’m on — and love me enough to point it out when I begin to lose my focus.

Thought for the day: My soul is my spiritual garden and it needs regular attention.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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