On another occasion he began to teach by the sea. A very large crowd gathered around him so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down. And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land. And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them, “Hear this! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep. And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots. Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain. And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.” He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”
And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables.
He answered them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that ‘they may look and see but not perceive, and hear and listen but not understand, in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.'”
Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
Mark 4:1-20 (New American Bible)
I believe each of us, at some point in our lives, have experienced God or have been touched by someone who read scripture or explained scripture in a manner that excited us. When we first start our spiritual path, we may be filled with excitement and believe we can follow Jesus anywhere. I laugh at myself when I think of how I would have done anything for Jesus when I first started. Not only did this feel joyful, but it was necessary for my beginning as a new Christian. As I lived the journey I had started, I discovered that I would not go to the far ends of the earth to follow Jesus, as I’d once believed, because I had a hard time following him in my simply daily routine of life. I struggled to follow Him when times were hard, but I even found it difficult to follow Him at times when there was no crisis.
Monday mornings always seemed to be the worst. I found it hard to get out of bed and go to work. My job could be stressful, and sometimes I just didn’t feel very loving toward our members. I sometimes even found it hard to go to church on Sunday mornings, because sleeping in sounded so great! I felt ashamed of myself. What happened to that woman who believed she would go anywhere for Jesus?
I have learned to accept my weaknesses, so now I come to Jesus and let him know that my heart is willing, but my human nature sometimes gets in the way. Life isn’t a sprint. It is an enduring path. I must nourish and water that seed within me. I need to love others, even when I am tired or “don’t feel like it.” When there’s a death in the family, or a disaster of some kind, I know I cannot allow it to stop me from following Jesus and nurturing that seed, so that I can bear fruit.