“There went out a sower to sow … some [seeds] fell by the way side … some fell on stony ground … some fell among thorns … some fell on good ground” — King James Bible, Mark chapter 4, verses 3-8.
Jesus’ parable of the sower was front and center in my thoughts this morning, so I thought I’d use it as the topic in my today’s musings. Probably what helped elevate that thought to front and center was that, at present, our family is having the pleasure of having two Mormon Sister Missionaries visit with us. Over these several weeks we’ve discussed many life-topics, most recent, Jesus’, parable, “The Sower.”
Although Missionaries of all faiths claim that they, through their missionary ventures, are sowing the “seeds” of the Gospel–Jesus, the Christ’s teachings–it may appear to them, and I’m sure to many others–that this Parable of the Sower can only be used as a religious lesson, and in a religious content.
To the contrary, I feel that the Parable of the Sower is not just a religious creation, but applies to all of us, regardless of our beliefs, every day and in real life and in real time. Jesus wasn’t just talking to ‘religious’ people, or ‘Christians,’ but to the public in general, and as an example to all of us on how we can live a happier life.
For example, I may have gotten up this morning feeling rather grouchy: feeling that the world owes me a better life. In the meantime, as I mumble and grumble through getting dressed and make breakfast, burning my toast in the process, which only added to my feeling miserable, my friend comes calling, and in a cheerful mood, invites me to join him on a walk through the park. He even brought enough popcorn for both of us to feed the pigeons!
“Not today!” I grump irritably at him. “I feel shitty! My leg hurts! My boss made me work overtime last night, and never even offered to pay me double time for all that work. The world’s just so damn unfair–” I look around and find that, while ranting, my friend had quietly excited, to go for a walk in the park by himself!
My negative interaction with my friend’s cheerfulness made me a Sower, and I just sowed some negative seeds! On what kind of ground did they fall onto? Stony ground that made my friend immediately leave, snuffing out his good humor and make him as grouchy as I was? I may not have done permanent damage to our friendship–at least I hope I didn’t– but I easily could have ruined his day.
“I’d like to be remembered as the Sower of Good Seeds. That’s the greatest parable in the Bible, as far as I’m concerned.” — Pete Seeger
As a positive example, suppose another friend came to me feeling quite downcast. He had just lost his job, and he was afraid to go home and tell his wife, who was already juggling the books to make ends meet.
“This would only make her feel worse!” he moaned. The rent is due next week, and the car needed some minor repair. “I think I’ll just kill myself and, at least, my wife can collect on my life insurance!”
I have two choices. I can tell my friend, ” Don’t be stupid! Suicide isn’t the answer! That’s life! Suck it up and just try harder,” or I can empathise with his worry. Maybe my own finances aren’t in better shape than his, so I can’t offer him a loan, but I can give him some positive encouragement–moral support– some positive choices: strengthen his desire to keep on trying: to keep on living, to see that often, when one door closes, a better one opens. I just have to help him find that ‘better door.’
I found that the world really can be a beautiful, fun-filled place, and most of it depends on my own attitude towards life, and how compassionate and desirous I am towards helping others with their struggles and to feel as happy as I am. Develop an “Attitude for Gratitude” and pass that feeling of gratitude on to my neighbor, that’s my philosophy!
“The sower soweth the word.” — Mark 4 verse 14
“And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” — Mark 4-20