For the next few days, we’re going to learn about the parable of the seed and the sower, and today, I want to set the stage and talk about the path. In Jesus’ day, farmers planted a lot like we do today, in rows. A grower would dig holes in rows, but instead of carefully placing seed in each one, he would take handfuls and scatter them in the area close to the soil. Now, imagine a single road on the same farm, relatively close to the prepared soil. It’s a path that gets trampled on a lot because it’s the only way in and out of the property, so the dirt is packed down. Because it’s so hard, no seed can take root there, and that’s why the birds come and eat it up.
As we look at this story, it’s important to remember that soil, whether prepared or hardened, represents the human heart and how it responds to seed, or the Word of God. Just as the soil along the road has been trampled on repeatedly, many of us have had our hearts trampled on by others, so they harden and refuse to accept the message of Christianity as good news. This happens especially often with pastor’s kids or people who grew up in a really strict religious environment, which is why I believe my Grandpa Schuller used to say that many men plant seeds, some care for the seed, some reap the harvest, but some simply till the soil. That’s how he saw his job; he wanted to break up and soften what had been hardened over the years by messages of condemnation and judgment.
Friend, no matter how much you have been trampled by religion and the constant messages that you are not good enough, I want to tell you that God loves you. As you open up your life to Him, He will soften the soil of your heart and the seed of His Word will again take root in your life. He is for you, not against you, and He wants to live in loving relationship with you from now until eternity! Isn’t that a wonderful thought!