Third in a series on the Parable of the Sower
In my last blog I mentioned that my garden has been under attack by a horde of ground hogs. I even had a dream that they jumped on my car in the drive way to distract me while a multitude ate every plant on our 2 acre plot. Needless to say I have been discouraged. Disheartened by the critters and my busy schedule I got behind in weeding my vegetable plot. At one stretch this summer, the weeds kind of took over. Not good for the few struggling veggies!
Jesus analyzed his Parable of the Sower this way: “The one who received the seed that fell among the thorns is the man who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke it, making it unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22-23, NIV) Jesus reveals to more hazards for any would-be follower of his. Two things get in the way of blossoming into true disciples: “worries of this life” and the “deceitfulness of wealth.” What does that look like in our daily lives?
“Worries of life” are simply the everyday stuff that we are engaged in. Sometimes career, family, taking care of the household chores, etc. can consume our thoughts and time. We just get so absorbed with normal stuff and worries over our life that we have no place for God. We effectively block him out of our life.
It is interesting that he describes wealth as deceitful. In our culture our dream is to acquire wealth. It is our dream because we think it brings security and because it communicates that we are important and successful. It begins with the idea that I should provide for my family or self, but easily becomes the focus of our lives. Life becomes good when we have more toys and a larger pay check. We pursue gaining and keeping more stuff. Jesus makes it clear elsewhere that we cannot serve two masters. Wealth cannot be our focus.
So if you are a normal American you probably have a weed problem. Pull up the weeds. Make sure that Jesus truly is at the center of your life.