"A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering his seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. The other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown." Matthew 13:3-8I've read this parable countless times, I've taught it in Sunday School, taught it in devotions, and in chapels. Yet reading it on Sunday was different. What I love about the Word is how you can revisit the same verse or teaching again and again and God can reveal a different part to you with each visit to His life. On Sunday, Jesus and I walked through the times when I have been sown in the different types of soil. We looked at high school where I had no root, early years of college where I was among thorns, and earlier in my life where the seed had fallen along the path.
In Bible Study last night, we read and talked about this passage as well. It was neat to hear what soils people think they are in and where they want to go. We talked about how we want our study to be good soil for one another, how we want it to be a place where we can grow and flourish together as sisters in Christ.
I like to think that I really am in good soil now. But what I think I realized on Sunday was that I am very much at a point where it is possible for me to allow the thorns in my life to "choke out" my plant. I am in the midst of figuring out where I am going to be next year and how exactly I can serve Jesus and His Church. There are some scary things about each option. But what I am realizing is that whatever God wants me to do, I need to do. Not out of fear of what will happen if I don't, but truly out of joy in knowing it is what He is calling me to. The path he has chosen for me is my "good soil." Just because that option will be my good soil and will be the best way for me to grow close to Him does not mean there won't be thorns along the way. These thorns might threaten my ability to choose, but if I truly love Him I will not allow the thorns to "choke" me.
I am so grateful that FOCUS came to St. Kate's my sophomore year. Those first four missionaries laid a lot of ground work and worked so incredibly hard to spread seed in good soil. Two years later our community of student leaders is flourishing and so is our impact. It is incredible to see what the Holy Spirit and Jesus are doing through our willingness to say "yes" to Bible Studies, friendships, and discipleship. None of the original four are at Drake, but their hard work truly is allowing a crop to be produced - a hudred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. I pray that no matter what happens in the years to come I am able to continue my walk with Christ and sow seeds in good soil.