Julie Lyles Carr: Sunday Selah

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sunday Selah

Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.
Mark 4:18-19

It's an amazing thing to me, the way verses can sneak into the Bible.

You read a passage a few times, you think you've got the basic gist of it and then WHAMO, you happen to come upon that chapter and verse again and it seems like there's a wealth of new information and insight there.

I'm thinking hard on the above verses. They look new and freshly profound to me.

Especially in this strange economic gardening season we are in.

I probably could have rattled off to you that the Word is like a seed, sometimes sown where there is no soil to support it, sometimes sown where no root develops, sometimes sown where there is great harvest.

But it's that convicting part that seems to have slipped into spiritual amnesia for me.

Worries of this life. Deceitfulness of wealth. Desire for other things.

Interestingly, the seed sown into this situation does yield a plant that does grow, that does develop a root system, that for all intents and purposes looks like holy horticulture. It's not until a closer inspection for harvest takes place that the truth is revealed--there is no fruit, no discernible by-product evident under the foliage.

Worries of this life.

The Greek expands this verbiage, showing that 'worries' or 'cares' is best rendered 'distractions'. The distractions of this life. The little fire alarms that go off, the potholes in the schedule, the fretful state of finances, the irritations, the scratchy circumstances that rub my soul wrong.

And 'worries of this life', the distractions, that sounds so innocuous, so less intrusive than rocky soil or affliction or persecution, the other conditions that the seed of the Word encounters in some hearts.

Less sinister sounding, equally debilitating.

Debilitating distraction.

Fruitless focus.

I need to shift my distraction to delight. Because that's the next part of the passage.

Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop...
(v. 20)

See that word accept? It's the Greek word paradechomai. It does mean receive or accept, but it also means to delight. To hear the word and to delight in it, kingdom addition. Hearing plus delighting equals a harvest.

Distraction by this world, by its worries, by its wealth, chokes the Word.

Delightment in the Word propagates blessed bounty.

I need to be looking with kingdom eyes.  I need to be hearing with kingdom ears.  I need to be delighting with a kingdom heart.  I need healing from my distraction disorder.

I need some holy Ritalin.

Good thing Jesus is the Great Physician.

Medicine for my soul.


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