I heard a sermon last week on the Parable of the Sower (or Farmer) found in Matthew 13 which I have been mulling over ever since. The preacher focused mainly on the seed that fell among the thorny plants (vs. 7). I’ve often seen a correlation in my life to this soil where the seed (God’s Word) is choked out by the thorny plants that grow up around it. Jesus relates that the thorny plants are “the worries of this life and the false appeal of wealth” which choke out the effectiveness of the Word and cause it to “bear no fruit” (vs. 22). The “worries of this life”, more than the “false appeal of wealth”, can be immense for a mom. You know what I’m talking about. You may have even heard a poem about it at church Sunday, honoring mothers by listing all their numerous professions: taxi driver, nurse/doctor, counselor, cook, maid, cheerleader, advocate, teacher, banker, etc… And every mother isn’t just a mother, she’s also a daughter, friend, volunteer, and usually a wife, oftentimes an employee or business owner, and always her own person with her own needs, wants and desires. I’m overwhelmed just listing all this!
During the sermon, the preacher told a story about his experience with thorny plants or brush. He noticed that when most thorny plants were young and green, their thorns weren’t sharp, or even very noticeable. Of course, little seedlings aren’t what crowd out and choke other plants either. Thorny plants become sharp and obstructive when they mature, become well-established, and even start turning brown. He noted the same is true for the “worries of this life”. These can be those distractions and habits that seem harmless at first, maybe even helpful or relaxing. But when we start focusing more of ourtime and energy on these things, and start interpreting the people and activities of our lives from the perspective that gets planted in our minds from these pursuits, God’s Word and ways can get choked out. For example, I love to read. But the words I read get planted deep into my mind and I mull over them (see, I’m doing the same thing with the message I heard on the radio that prompted this post). They influence how I respond to my family and what I get accomplished. If I am reading fiction, the characters can inspire how I want things to be in my own life (or not). So I am selective in my reading. The same is true for music, television shows, movies, etc. Encapsulated in all of these are ideas communicated to us that influence our perception. What starts as something small can become a thorny weed that chokes out the good, godly things in my life, making it unfruitful for God’s kingdom.
As moms and dads, husbands and wives, daughters and sons, friends, employees, and individuals, we have to do what we have to do. Things need to get done. But there are different lenses with which to view our lives and the things we do. Secular lenses are the most used and the easiest to access because they are EVERYWHERE. Just turn on the television in a moment of relaxation, jump on the internet while checking email at home (or on your phone just about anywhere) , or pick up a magazine in line at the grocery store and you see the interpretation of things of this life through others’ eyes. We have to dig a bit deeper and more intentionally to gain a godly perspective and maintain it. We have to spend time focusing on God’s Word, not just reading the Bible, but studying it. Those are the seeds which yeild the fruit in our lives we want to bear.