Our Lord’s parable of the farmer sowing seed tells us what we must strive to be. All the seed the farmer sowed was the same. The ground the seed fell on made the difference. Some of the soil was fertile; some of it was poor.
We learn from the parable that Our Lord wants us to let the seed of faith grow in us by living our lives according to the plan he has given us. The good work we do will both spring from and cultivate our goodness.
Seed that falls on bare rock simply won’t grow, and yet small stones in the soil can be an advantage. Stones attract moisture and they radiate heat. Experiments have shown that removing all stones from the soil is detrimental to the crop. The fields of our lives are scattered with the small stones of sorrows, disappointments and frustration. If we could see things from God’s perspective, we would realize that these stones are not really big enough to damage the crop. In fact, they help it grow.
As we try to be what God wants us to be, our feeble efforts take us closer to our eternal destiny. We can’t afford to wait until we are perfect musicians to begin playing our instruments. If that were the case, then the world would have no music.
When we are sick we get a prescription from the doctor, and if we are wise we read the dosage carefully and take the medicine faithfully. But if we are foolish we might simply go to the chemist and read the labels on all the bottles. We might learn something about what’s in the medicine, but we probably won’t be helped by it unless we take the right one.
Holiness is a little bit like that. If we spend our time and energy just seeking to understand more about what it means to be good, we will drive holiness farther away. We might learn a lot of theology and even be able to share this knowledge with others, but get nothing out of it ourselves.
If we really want to draw closer to God, we need to accept whatever he presents to us. What he arranges for us to experience at each moment is the best and holiest thing that could happen to us. If we can accept God’s will and purpose in all simplicity, he will bring us to perfection – with no awareness on our part. We need only let him take us there.