Or how I learned to respect soil. . .
|Prompt: Write about the Parable of the Sower.
I have to admit that at first, I didn't exactly like the idea of this prompt. The Parable of the Sower is arguably one of the least interesting things that Jesus ever said. It has no plot to speak of, no conflict (external or internal) and only one character, ( a sower who has no "arc". He just spends the entire story doing exactly what you would expect a sower to do.) I almost didn't enter this contest, but then one night I thought of something that I hadn't before, and I before I knew what happened this essay appeared.
That thing which I thought of was. . .soil.
No really. Sometimes soil can seem like a nuisance, because children track it into the house and parents get mad, but soil is actually one of the most precious and holy things in the world. God uses it to make all the plants, both the ones that give us pretty flowers and the ones that give us tasty fruits and vegetables. Not to mention all the plants which are food for the animals which give us meat and dairy products. Almost all good things come from soil, one way or another.
So, the last time that you prayed, did you remember to thank God for putting all that soil there?
Me neither, but you might want to consider it.
But beyond being more appreciative of the soil, I actually have another point here which is that we should keep soil's holiness in the back of our minds when we interpret the Parable of the Sower.
Usually, the explanation of the Parable is that the Sower represents God, the seeds represent God's word, and the soil represents human beings.
Now, do you see why I wanted you to keep the holiness of soil in the back of your mind? Without that, you might have said, "Jesus is comparing us to dirt. No wonder people wanted to crucify that guy!" But since you've read the first few paragraphs of this essay, you can say. "Wow! Jesus compared us to dirt, one of the most precious and holy things in the world. How flattering! And what an awesome comparison for us to live up to!"
The other thing to consider about this parable is the seed which represents God's word. Clearly they're not very expensive, because the farmer just scatters them rather recklessly. But that makes sense, because God's word is not very expensive. After all, the Bible has been in the public domain for thousands of years, so it's not expensive to print and in this day and age, you don't even need a hard copy, because there are many places to read it online. The trick though, is not to simply read it, but to let it grow in you. Then, that two thousand year-old book about a bunch of dead guys, can grow into something like a sermon, an essay about the parable of the sower (heh! heh!), or maybe even something more precious like the solution to your problem, or the realization that you can solve someone else's problem.
Then, holy and precious you can change the word of God, from an ungerminated seed into a wonderful plant.
Of course, I don't pretend that this is easy. The last time you sat down to read the Bible, or listen to a sermon, or participate in a church service, did you try praying, "Lord Jesus, help me to become soil."
Me neither. I admit that it sounds kind of like a death wish, but God will know that that's not what you meant by it.