In the parable of the Sower, Jesus tells the story of a Farmer scattering his seeds. The sower’s parable is in the book of Luke Chapter 8 if you want to check it out for yourself. The last soil sticks out to me, and it also was the one I hope to be.
Paraphrasing Jesus, the third soil’s story went like this, the farmer scattered seed on good soil, and it produced a crop. Later, when Jesus explained the third soil, he compared it to people who heard the word, retained it, and by persevering produce a crop.
I want to produce a crop. We all want to produce crops. Crops can take various forms, but I think that in my mind, crops can take the form of possessions, houses, cars, money, status. I crave those things.
This is not the crop I believe that Jesus was referring to; persevering for possessions, working for status could end up leaving me choked out by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. Jesus says that this is what happens to people who are in the second set of soils.
At this point, you may be checked out as a reader; why in the world would I want to read about Jesus, soils, crops,
What is the point?
The point is this. I feel a strong pull for possessions, A new car, A new house, A vacation. How do I fight these cravings? Loop one is that I try to deny them, then marginalize them as bad. Find an example of someone who pursued them and ended up unhappy.
The next thing I will do is run a counterexample, telling myself that it isn’t all the bad, find an example of people who are thriving, and then beat myself up for not having reached the same goals.
Defeat is what I experience on both of those paths. Instead, it is harder to hear, retain, and persevere, and I believe it is because there are so many things to do and so many crops to grow.
So what does that mean in the end? Persevering is difficult. It is hard. For me, it is. I am not always joyful, happy, or excited. But I keep going. I am grumpy, angry, sad, and discouraged, but I keep going. I stop and listen to my feelings, but I have to avoid getting stuck for too long inside of them. Keep moving, keep persevering.