A couple weeks back, I had to stop to fill up my car. When I went in to pay, it happened...
My eyes caught the ever-lurking stand of Krispy Kreme donuts that always wages war with my best intentions. Once again, my intentions lost (in my defense, they were running a special - buy one, get the second for just $1). On the way out of the gas station, I looked down longingly at my cherished treats, and I realized the same hand that was holding my gluttonous goodies was also sporting a Fit Bit! This paradox got me thinking.
How many times do I settle for good intentions rather than transformation?
Matthew 13:1-9 is the Parable of the Sower. I've always understood this familiar parable to simply be about the heart of a person, but walking out of the gas station the Lord brought to mind another perspective. The parable has to do with fruit as much as it has to do with soil.
If I were to look at the fruit of my life, what would it indicate about the soil of my heart?
I started asking myself, what am I settling for? Am I happy with a good "worship service" where people seem "engaged", and where it goes really "smoothly?" Am I content to just give a homeless guy a buck so I feel like I'm "doing my part?" Am I content to vacuum the carpet so I can say I did something around the house to help Janna? Is this the measure of the fruit of my life?
For me specifically, the Lord poked at something in my heart that was settling for rocky soil - it is visible quickly, but it dies off as fast as it grew. It doesn't take a whole lot of time or investment to see quick results - but they don't last.
What is it for you?
Fruit from the hard-path-heart may look like rigid religion that never lets the Spirit lead, but instead settles for routines and preferences.
The thorny heart may look like personal striving for God that never satisfies, because it can't find space in the demands of life to actually hear God.
Like my Krispy Kreme consuming, Fit Bit wearing self, we can have intentions, but without being intentional, we won't see transformational growth.
My prayer is that we would increasingly become people aware of the condition of our souls, intentionally creating space and practices where the Spirit can till the soil of our hearts. May we be people who prioritize the presence of God in the everyday, and invite Him to speak into those places that settle for intentions rather than transformation.