31/5/17 - Pastor Young
When I think about school, there are two days in particular that stand out to me: the day that studying came alive to me, and the day that studying died.
The day that studying came alive, I walked back into the classroom after speaking to the principal. The rest of the class had just finished marking their spelling tests, and a smiling classmate handed me mine. I looked down at a mess of red pen -- ticks where I had correctly spelled words, and a large "X" on one word.
"Strawberries? Isn't it 'S-T-R-A-W-B-E-R-R-Y-S?'" I asked in disbelief. In my head, I vowed to learn every arbitrary grammatical rule there was and become the greatest speller to have ever lived (this didn't happen, as a few years later, our school faced our rival school in a spelling bee, and I was eliminated due to a different, but still arbitrary, rule). Still, it ignited a fire in me when I didn't know there was even fuel. Homework and textbooks became interesting.
Seven years later, my passion for studying proved to be short-lived.
The day that studying died, I thought I was in friendly territory. My friend had invited me over to his house after school, and we sat in front of his computer. There, he introduced me to an online game, and suddenly the concerns of doing imaginary things with pixels in a virtual world seemed to me more pertinent than finding the unknown numbers in algebraic equations. Gaming took over the rest of my high school years. Studies, as good as they were, could not overcome the importance I placed on "fun".
When Jesus talks about the sower, and the seed that falls along the path, the rock, the thorns, and the good soil, I understand. The board of education came and sowed the seed of studying, and this seed found thorny ground in me. I was much too enamoured by whatever seemed good to my eyes at the time. For a time, studying seemed good. But not long after, entertainment seemed better.
In the parable that we heard of on Sunday, the seed is the Word of God. It is of far greater importance than the example I gave, but what if you feel stuck? What do you do if the soil of your heart is infested with thorns, and the fruit of the seed never seems to mature?
Ask God for new soil. Ask God for good soil.
Our God is greater than any of the thorns that may be in your heart. Whatever the cares, riches and pleasures of life may be that so enamour you, God is greater.
Ezekiel 36:26 tells us of this great and faithful God, who is willing to give us new hearts. Turn to Him and ask Him for help with your heart so full of thorns.
Yours in gardening,