Thursday, September 9, 2010
THE PARABLE OF THE GROWING SEED
Marion holds the cup with her trembling hand and manages a sip of the hot-brewed coffee. Gazing through a window in her ground floor apartment waiting for the sun-appearing moment is her hobby. “Hey, handsome, isn’t this a beautiful day?” she gently jokes, while holding the photo frame of her late husband. He died early in their marriage and left Marion to take care of four little kids, two twins in a row, one set of gender each. Odd jobs and routine house works took up all the time she had, hardly enjoying a trip outside of town.
While she gets all excited at a tiny light appearing in a small cloud far above her, a knock on the door interrupts her vivid attention. Pastor Jerry has been visiting Marion almost once every week but today he is exceptionally early.
“Hello, Pastor, today’s early?” she opens the door for him, a little disappointed on the inside. “Sweet Marion, I know. Sorry about that. I have some things to do afterwards and thought of coming earlier to see you,” Jerry apologises. He helps old Marion to her favourite chair and pulls a stool beside her. The sunlight through the window has enlivened the golden frame of Marion’s husband’s photo and her eyes catch hold of him. A tear drops suddenly from her cheek.
“What’s wrong, Marion?” the pastor enquires gently. “Oh, nothing. Just a little tired,” she tries to look cheerful. “Okay, good. I have twenty good minutes to spare and I was thinking over some things about you,” the clergy man clears his throat. “Since you came to church some years ago, you have not been involved in the ministries of the church. I was thinking if you would want to serve in any of the various departments of the church,” he proffers.
The church they go situated few blocks away has been the busiest church in town. Rev. Jerry often preached about Christians losing the treasures in heaven and believers must give account to Jesus.
“I am sorry, Pastor. I will if I am not busy,” Marion replies bluntly. She received Christ as her personal Saviour about three years ago and Pastor Jerry feels that she needs to earn some “points” in heaven. “Okay then. Hope to hear from you, Marion,” Jerry speaks quickly and Marion can feel his disappointment. He prays for her and excuses himself, a little earlier than expected, just like he dropped by just now.
Marion cries when she hears Pastor Jerry’s car zooms away. It is not that she doesn’t want to serve but she feels inadequate. Moreover she doesn’t like the limelight. She laments the fact that she is useless before God. Old and useless. She thinks aloud and cries some more.
Saturday is her favourite day when she gets to cook for her sons and daughters and their family. The rest of the week, they take her out. Oh, how she could not wait for them to return. She looks at her watch for the fourth time. Smelling all the favourite foods she cooked for her own flesh and blood, she sits there and grins. Before she can look at her watch again, few tiny knocks sounded at the door. It must be the grandchildren.
When she opens the door, before she can say anything, two girls scramble to hug her. “Grandma! Grandma!” As the hugs are going on, her eyes wink at all the sons and daughters walking in one by one smiling. “Johnson, stop your itchy fingers from the food before prayer,” she warns the youngest twin with a smile, like she have eyes on her back. All of them now have good jobs and earn more than a decent living. Laughter fills the entire apartment as they chat like long lost folks.
David the older twin son gives Marion a long kiss on the forehead. “How are you, lady?” he teases. “Okay, son, okay,” she answers, not as cheerful as before. David senses some discomfort from the old lady, whistles for June, the eldest sibling in the family to come near.
“Mom, you can surely talk to us, can’t you?” June asks with concern.
“I was thinking about my spiritual life. Well, I am going to meet my Maker soon enough. What have I got to offer Him?” Marion opens up.
While the children are playing away, her four kids sits her down calmly.
“Mom, you have more to offer God than all of us put together,” June begins first.
“And how’s that?” Marion answers unconvinced.
“Take a good look at the four of us, Mom. Who brought us up and make us stand on our two feet? Who taught us the values we hold so strongly now?” June continues.
“And who had cooked for us to make us strong physically so that we had enough energy to make a decent living?” Johnson chips in.
“Who brought us to the church so that we found Christ?” Rachel, the other twin daughter adds, wiping her tears away.
“Yeah. And who was there when we needed comfort and guidance?” David speaks gently, holding her mom’s face up.
“Mom, you were serving God when you gave your best to your children and you still are. We all love you!” June speaks firmly with a smile.
"And when you meet God one day, hold your head up high to Him and smile,” David adds on strongly.
Marion lets out a wide grin and tries to hug them all at one time. “I could do that when you guys were little but now, I can’t,” she jokes.
“That’s because God grows the effort you put in for Him,” June responds.
The parable of the Growing Seed is only found in Mark 4:26-29.
This story of the growing seed speaks of a simple trust in God when we serve in His kingdom. A normal farmer’s know how is to scatter seed first and then harvest them when the time comes. He would never bother to learn the dynamics of a growing plant with all its complications. All he knows is that it works and it works well every time provided there are no natural calamities.
But the farmer must be a good farmer to be called a farmer. A good farmer is dedicated to seed planting and harvest gathering. When is more important than why!
Many Christians are concerned about the ‘whys’ so much that they have forgotten about the ‘whens’. They have lost so many opportunities for harvest, lost souls slipped from their ‘net’. They talk and talk about the dynamics of fishing and never really do any fishing. In fact good Christian like good farmer is an oxymoron. Christians are good and farmers are good at what they are doing.
So, let us all know when to scatter seed and when to harvest. When opportunities arise, let us seize them with our very best!
NOTE: I am not saying we should not analyse anything but do not let our analyses paralyse our opportunities to advance the kingdom of God.
Next: Parable of the Good Samaritan