That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: "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. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!" Matthew 13:1-9
We lived in Delaware surrounded by rich farm lands. Someone once told me that the soil in Delaware was particularly rich, as it had been sea bed some millennium ago. The ancient deposits from the sea life made the soil rich with nutrients.It also wasn't rocky,as Delaware is very close to sea level throughout the state. The soil allows roots to go deep, and rain to not pool having enough ancient sand and proximity to the ocean. It is good soil, which had been built over time, and which the local farmers take care of with great effort and pride.
Jesus explains the parable he has told to anyone who will listen. Many of us want our faith to be fulfilling and enriching at every moment. Great faith takes great effort, care and time. We cannot walk away when things get tough or when life isn't exciting as it once was. There are seasons of plenty and want, as in life. All of what we do is preparing the soil, even in the seemingly stagnant seasons of our lives. We are to cultivate of life of patient humility, willing to serve always, even when we are not "feeling" it, even when we see no results. God promises to bring a great yield for those who take time to care for the dirt, for the unexciting people and places, the ground of all that is life-giving.
Today I ask God for the strength to go deep. May we all be prepared to serve for the long haul, season after season, expecting the true blessings, despite what we may see or feel right now. May our faith be life giving to others around us today.