Woman 2: No problem. Come on in. These are the easiest cookies to make. Let me read you the directions and we’ll give it a shot.
Woman 1: Thank you so much. I’ve never been good at baking so I really appreciate the help.
(They take the cookie dough out of the tubular wrapping, slice it evenly, then cut the slices in half, then cut the halves in half again. Place on lightly oiled cookie sheet, pop in oven for 25 minutes. Voila! Out come warm, chewy, delicious cookies.)
Woman 1: I’m trying to make these cookies but I don’t understand the directions. My mother never showed me how to do this stuff. Will you help me again?
Woman 2: Ohhkay (bewildered). Like I said yesterday, they’re really easy to make. Actually, they couldn’t make it any easier. Come on in and let’s see what’s the problem. (Repeat yesterday’s cooking adventure.)
Woman 1: I know you showed me this before (lifting up tube of cookie dough) but I was wondering if you could show me again. I really should have learned this when I was younger but there was never any time.
Woman 2: Uhhh (now not only a little bewildered but slightly annoyed), what is it you don’t understand?
Woman 1: It’s hard. You always seem to do this so easily and I just can’t. Please help.
Woman 2: Okay but this time I’m going to write down the easy steps and you can try it on your own after this.
Repeat yesterday’s cooking adventure.
Woman 2: (Considers not answering it … but answers it in case it’s something different, or important.)
Woman 1: Hi there! I can’t believe how hard this is. You just have no idea because you’re so good at it. It comes so easy for you. Not even my grandmother showed me how to do this. My life has never been easy enough to do this. Will you please do this for me while I watch … again?
Woman 2: Scratches head in total dismay. Repeat the previous day’s cooking adventure but with a heavy heart.
Now this ‘parable’ is just that … a parable. [noun: a short allegorical story designed to illustrate or teach some truth, religious principle, or moral lesson] The events have never happened and the people are fictional. But, like any parable, it is intended to make a point.
My parable is akin to the Parable of the Soils as seen in Matthew 13:1-23, Mark 4:1-34 and Luke 8:4-21. Words, like seeds, meant to be implanted so as to produce something good, often will not have that effect. Like the ‘soils’, some of our words will land on hearts that are hardened. Or hearts that are shallow (rocky). Or thorny, as in surrounded by weeds and prone to choking out the word with the world. Or the very best, fruitful soil which is healthy and ready to receive that seed (or word) and let it spring up and grow and bear good fruit.
Looking at my parable above, which type of ‘soil’ do you think the unwilling learner had? And what, then, should the ‘teacher’ do? Well, I don’t think the ‘teacher’ is to stop ‘throwing seed’ but I do think there is a time where, after much praying, one must conclude that there’s only One who can change the soil, and it’s not you or I. It also serves that we should be discerning about whether we are to continue ‘throwing seed’ on unwanted soil. After all, there may come a time where the only conclusion is in Matthew 7:6. I’ll let you look that up. 🙂
Thoughts and feedback always appreciated.