“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed,
With all the things trying to grab our attention, it can be hard to get people to pay attention. There’s a never-ending battle to get in front of people, saying something or showing them something that will get them to react and respond.
People make a big deal about how our attention span is has gone down from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight second. They then love to shout that our attention span is shorter than a goldfish.
Whether or not you believe the whole goldfish attention span thing or not, I think we’d all agree that it’s harder to get and hold people’s attention. In general, they are more tired, distracted, anxious than before. And these all contribute to it getting harder to get people to stop and pay attention.
Stop, wait a minute. That’s exactly what Jesus says to the people listening to him. It’s like Please Mr. Poastman, and it doesn’t matter if you like the way The Marvelettes sang it, or The Beatles, the message is the same.
Jesus starts off by trying to get everybody’s attention and interest. He says listen up, pay attention. He’s asking them to actively put all their focus on what he’s about to say. He wants them to put down their cell phones, stop texting, take the ear buds out, and listen to him with both ears, see him with both eyes.
Now, after getting their attention, Jesus starts in on the story. He immediately introduces a farmer, but the farmer isn’t sitting at home, playing video games, or planning what to plant. No, the farmer is doing what farmers do – sowing, scattering seeds.
There is no harvest, there is no paycheck, there is no way to feed your family and pay the bills without first scattering seeds. You can’t be a farmer without first scattering some seeds. You probably could call yourself a farmer without scattering seeds, but you’d be a fraud.
Jesus introduces this farmer who goes out to scatter seeds. But he doesn’t just throw the seeds down where he lives. Not this farmer, he goes far away to a place where no one else has scattered seeds. He didn’t sow near his own house, or in a nearby garden that was protected by a fence or wall. But he went out into the open country, far away from where he lived or normally worked.
He also doesn’t go out and scatters a seed. He scatters seeds. Plural seeds. There are lots and lots of seeds being thrown around, going in lots and lots of directions. He’s not being stingy with the seeds; he’s throwing them all around.
I have a friend who introduced themself as a writer. But when asked about their latest book, they got quiet. While they liked the sound of being called a writer, there was no writing to support their title. You can call yourself a programmer all day long, but if there are no programs to show what you’ve written, it’s pointless. You can call yourself a leader all you want, but if no one is following you, you’re just a guy on a walk by yourself.
When Jesus describes this farmer, he’s being faithful to his job title and job description. Notice that Jesus doesn’t call him a good farmer, an excellent farmer, or an exceptional farmer. He’s just a farmer. And being a farmer is more than a title, it’s also action. A good and faithful farmer farms. And the first step in farming is scattering seeds.
You are probably not a farmer. After all, less than 1% of Americans are farmers. And while you’re not a farmer, and you don’t scatter seed for a living, you do sow seeds of ideas. Whenever you meet people, talk, text, or send a video, you are sowing thoughts and opinions.
So, what kinds of seeds are you scattering? What messages, information, and beliefs are you sowing?
· Seeds of hope or discouragement?
· Seeds of faith or disbelief?
· Seeds of love or hate?
· Seeds of grace or works?
· Seeds of peace or conflict?
· Seeds of unity or dispute?
Not only do we all have a role to play, but we also all have seeds to scatter. We not only have a voice, but we also have an audience. Whenever we meet and talk with people in line, in the grocery store, in a restaurant, in parking lots. Even when we’re talking or chatting with people in customer service, we have seeds to scatter.
Start scattering Jesus’ kind of seeds today.