I was reading in chapter 4 of the Gospel of Mark this week, and I came across the parable of the seed and the sower. In this parable, Jesus is talking about the various soils (i.e. people) that the Word of God can fall on. I read it, like I have many times before, but this time one of the categories of places the seed could fall really caught my attention. In fact, I don’t know that I’d ever really paid that much attention to it before this reading. It’s vs. 18-19. Listen to what Jesus has to say:
“Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the Word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful.”
I realized as I read this that I am among thorns. The church in America is among thorns. The Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has come to us, and we’ve received it gladly! We’ve built huge churches as a testament to this, and filled them with the finest things! We’re there every Sunday to take our place and “do our time.”
Yet what are we really concerned about day to day? Hour to hour? Minute to minute? Is it the furthering of the kingdom of God? Or is it our job? The stock market? The war? Our hobbies? Our cars? Our stuff?
What do you spend your day thinking about? What do you spend your time trying to bring about?
Me? I realized I’m among the thorns. I’m consumed with things other than the One thing. And I’ve realized that our society, our system, forces us to be this way. Our society has squeezed out just about any possibility for stillness, for silence, for prayer. We pencil in our “quiet time” on our schedule, just like our weekly “hour of power” at church on Sunday, and we give God a few minutes here and there. Then it’s off to the grindstone and let the worries come in.
How much thought do we really give to the things that matter? If someone were to look at your day, and how much time you spend on the things in your life, what would they conclude really matters?
What would my day say about me?