The questions we need to ask ourselves are: Am I merely hearing God’s word without understanding it? Does God’s Word meet with a hard heart in me? Am I too anxious about money, security, provision for retirement or old age? Is God’s word taking root in me? Converting me? Transforming me? Enabling me to sacrifice?
And what about the “fruits” that we are being invited to produce: justice and mercy, hospitality for the immigrant, the dispossessed, the unborn, and the single mother? By refusing to consider these, we may be missing the healing the Word of God can bring into our lives. What kind of soil are we? How do we respond to the word of God? Do we allow the trials and tribulations of this world to overwhelm the tender seed growing within us? Do we pull back when people harass us because we are believers? Do we decide, because things are not working out the way we think they should, that God doesn’t care for us, or He is powerless, weak and not to be heeded?
Do we allow the cares of this world, our ambitions or our desires for success and happiness, to choke out the messages God sends us through the various events of our daily lives and through the various people we encounter? How we respond to the Word of God is the key to how fruitful the gospel is going to be in our lives. Unlike the situation in nature, we can, as it were, change the kind of soil we are. God allows the seed to land on the hard paths, the rocky ground and in the thickets of our lives in the hope that in those places it will find a place to mature and bear fruit, that those things which impede growth will be removed and that the soil may be just a little deeper that it at first appears to be in those rocky places.