Posted by: pmarkrobb | November 19, 2015

return to the “earth”

Last year I was given the great challenge and opportunity to contribute to a writing project which would be given to adults who had just been baptized, most of whom were young in their faith.  Early in the process a thought came to me and I asked whether it might also be useful to write material that was more suited to youth.  I was quickly given the green light and thanked for my generous offer to write it. 🙂

Almost immediately, the parable we are reading today and tomorrow came to mind.  Its powerful truths about the role your heart plays in growing your faith are plain and approachable for someone of any age, and is easily illustrated in things which are common to children.  It was, perhaps, the most fun I’ve ever had in writing.  I titled it, A Story About Dirt: and what it has to do with getting baptized (that unfortunately doesn’t involve mudpies!).

I wonder how you would describe the “dirt” of your heart right now.  I share the highway with a great number of people who seem to be traveling on hardened paths or rocky roads.  I stand in the grocery line behind a fair amount of gardeners whose lives seemed to be overrun with thistles and thorns.  I think it’s fair to say we have a bit of a farming crisis in our world right now, and I’m pretty sure it’s not all someone else’s problem.

Cultivating our faith is hard work.  It’s back-breaking, exhausting, and costs far more than a pound of flesh.  Actually, I believe that last part is the key to our “dirt issues.”  It’s the source of the rocks, thistles and thorns in our lives.  It’s the reason our hearts become pressed and packed down like the path in the parable.   It is our flesh that wars against the activities essential to cultivating the soil of our heart.  When prompting comes to pick up our Bible, when the need arises to hit our knees in prayer, what seeks to distract, disarm or disable those urges?  What stops them short of becoming daily disciplines in our lives?  Our flesh.

We must return to the “earth” and make cultivating a priority in our lives.  We must till the ground and walk the field picking up rocks.  We must get on our hands and knees and invite our Savior to join us in pulling the thorns and thistles out from their root.  We must join our neighbor in his/her field and invite them to join us in ours.  The kingdom harvest holds great promise.  May we choose cultivation daily and care not whether it us our hands which are blessed in reaping what we have sown.


  1. A “farming crisis”. I like that! 🙂

    Father, might we yoke with Jesus and learn from Him to till the soil within and around us. Thank You

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