Lessons from the Sower and the Seed
by Mary Beth Singleterry
In the parable of the sower and the seed Christ Jesus points out three major roadblocks to spiritual progress.
The first seed is sown by the way side. In the passage from the book of Matthew Jesus says, “When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.” This important point Mrs. Eddy makes over and over again in the First Edition of Science and Health as well as in the 1910 edition – and that is, you cannot substitute mere human belief for understanding. It has been said, and rightly so, if you truly understand Science, you could never leave it, for it is the way of Life, the eternal Laws and Principles of the universe. Why would anyone want to leave it?! But if you only believe, hope it to be true, like its promise, but have never dug deeply enough to understand and to apply and to actually prove its principles in daily living – well then, it is no wonder that the “wicked one” will turn you all upside down and spiritual growth is out the window.
The next seed is sown on the rock and how all too familiar this one is! You receive the Truth and it is so wonderful! Perhaps you have had a quick healing. Feeling elated by how great everything is, you float along taking no time to grow some roots. Once again, real understanding has not been developed – suddenly a tough challenge comes along, maybe persecution from people you thought once liked you, things just don’t seem to be going too well. The elation then turns to discouragement and the ole’ devil whispers its lies into your ears, “this Science stuff doesn’t work after all, or it takes too much work, I don’t think it’s for me.” And because your love for Science is immature, it is all about what you can get, all about wanting the loaves and the fishes. You have developed no roots, no understanding of the unselfed nature of this Truth and all the joy and meaning to life that giving to others brings – and so you get turned sadly awry.
And the last seed is sown among thorns and how often does this one apply! The good seed that may be just starting to grow and to take root gets choked by all the cares of this world – a busy successful career, family obligations, an opportunity to travel and/or many other distractions. These things are not necessarily bad – unless they become more important than the things of God, until they consume more and more of your time. You might occasionally think a good thought or say a quick prayer or even attend church, but the truth of the matter is materiality has set in big time, God is merely an afterthought, and once again, the devil has claimed a victory. Spiritual growth has been sacrificed for the “ghastly farce of material existence.” (S&H)
I once thought this parable applied only to “those people out there.” But I have since realized it applies to me right here and right now and have found it to be an essential checking point for avoiding pitfalls that would try to shipwreck anyone from making true spiritual progress and becoming that “good seed” which beareth much fruit!