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Mark 039 - Some Fell-Path

some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up.

Mark 4:4b

It was drilled into my head day in and day out. Don’t waste ANYTHING! If food was on your plate, you ate it. If you turned a light on when you went into a room, you always turned it off when you went out.

I saw this practiced when my dad planted his vegetable garden. A seed was precious and to be carefully planted where it could grow and produce. A seedling was gently and gingerly handled, planted with the right amount of fertilizer and water.

But when this farmer scattered seeds, his focus wasn’t on placing each and every seed on an exact place. It was to cover as much ground as possible, with as many seeds as possible. You see, when seeds are thrown, they don’t have a choice. They can’t look down and say, “I’m not going there.” Seeds go to one of two places.

· Seeds fall where they are thrown. The farmer’s arm and hand sling the seeds far and wide. The seeds float down and land as they are thrown. As seeds leave the farmers’ hand, they fall. They are scattered.

· Seeds fall where they are blown. Once the seeds leave the farmers hand, the wind can move the seeds to a place where the farmer wasn’t aiming. A breeze can kick up and push the seeds in midair, sending them where they weren’t thrown.

When the seeds finally get to earth, some of them land on the path. It was a walkway that people used to go through. Once upon a time, that ground might have been good and fruitful. But over time, the ground had been packed down hard over many years and many harvests.

Next to the path, you had growing, lively plants that could go onto maturity and productivity. But right next to those productive plants was a path. There was very little difference between the good soil and the path, except that it had been pushed down over time.

In a few verses, Jesus explains the path and its application.

Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them.

Mark 4:15

The phrase that makes my skin craw is “as soon as.” I get a shiver up and down my spine about the timeframe. Immediately. The seed didn’t have a chance to do anything. The seed hit the ground, and then it was gone. The ground had been so conditioned over time that it was not open to, or receptive to seeds.

It didn’t take any time at all. Once the seed lands on the path, the enemy is right there to take it away. There wasn’t a chance for anything to help or change the situation, No conversation. No dialogue. No watering. No nurturing.

The enemy, through the birds, are right there. Johnny on the spot. The birds didn’t come from far away, they were close by. When they saw the farmer come with the seeds, walking out into the field, they got ready. They knew that their feedbag was about to be put on. They heard their dinner bell and they came-a-runnin’.

As the farmer grabbed a handful and started tossing seeds in the air, the birds were also in the air. As the seeds hit the ground, the birds landed on the ground. And then the buffet began.

Jesus could have picked any number of animals to represent the enemy. But birds are the perfect choice because they are especially quick and efficient when it comes to picking up seeds. Their beaks are small, allowing them to pick up the small seeds with ease. Their eyes are sharp, letting the birds select the seeds from other things on the path

Some people feel just like the path. Over the years, they’ve been walked all over, made hard by the painful experiences of life. It could have been bad experiences at a church, at work, with a financial decision gone bad, a failed relationship. No matter the cause, they were pounded and pounded. Over and over they got walked over. And just like that path, they became hard.

I understand. I was hard-hearted and hard-headed. Beat down by so many hurts and disappointments. Some of them were caused by others, some of them I caused.

But no matter the cause, Jesus is able to love you, hold you close, softening you and your life.

But you’ve got to open yourself and your hard heart. Now is the time to start the process of moving from being a path to a child of God.


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