7-11-17 - Of Paths and Birds

"Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up."  (This week's gospel parable is here.)

Paths can be beautiful, but they’re not places for growing, are they? We call a path full of greenery “overgrown.” One of the first things I do when I get to our cottage in Michigan each summer is take a broom and reclaim the path down to the lake (laid by my great-grandmother…) from the weeds and sod encroaching upon its surfaces.

Paths are for journeying, arteries that carry us from one place for growing to another. When the Good News is told to people who are on the path, on the move, they may not receive it fully – it remains on the surface, easy pickings for other messages and other priorities that conflict with it.

And what do you see as the birds, these entities that gobble up the newly scattered seed so it has no time to take root? Distractions, competing claims, yes – and also something deeper: lies the Enemy tells us to undermine our ability to trust in the goodness of God, and the goodness of God in us. Those lies can take many forms, and are often disguised in advertising. Competitiveness. 60-80 hour workweeks. Stress. Anxiety. What’s on your list?

Today, name some paths in your life, in-between spaces. (Work can be a field, or a path; relationships can be a field or a path…)What are the growing places in your life that you can name and celebrate?

Do you know some people for whom the Word of God has fallen onto the path and been picked off?
How might you help them become rooted in good soil?

The birds are a given. They even have their place.We just need to shoo them off when they threaten our spiritual health, or someone else’s.

Maybe being active and intentional in the Life of God is like the netting people put over growing berries and vegetables – the sun and water get through, but the birds have to do their munching somewhere else.

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