Thoughts on Sowing…
In part, chalk it up to a lot of work on my doctoral program. Turns out interviewing folks is the easy part; it’s the synthesizing work that comes after that’s the challenge!
And, of course, it’s the fall. Which means the Dixon machine has cranked up again in earnest. Between work, school sports, soccer mania and training for this, it’s been tough for this blogger to find time for blogging!
But that doesn’t mean I’ve been silent. Far from it.
I won’t give you specifics, because each of these situations are ongoing and they involve people that I care about, but three times lately I’ve had the opportunity to offer a word of gentle (I hope!) correction in the area of gender.
What am I talking about? Subtle things, like someone using gender exclusive language when an inclusive term would be a better fit. Or calling out someone on social media for their clear bias toward men when the topic should be universal.
All of this comes in my attempt to be prophetic. In other words, I want to use my voice (verbal and otherwise) to correct our Tertullianized culture, particularly in the church.
But here’s the thing…I can only control my part of the equation. The response? Well, that’s about the person or people I am engaging with.
And on that account it’s been a mixed bag. Of my three recent situations, one went without any response at all. Like, crickets.
A second one involved a hearty back-and-forth, one that resulted in greater understanding but was ultimately less than satisfying for me.
And then the third one was, in a word, perfect. This person graciously received my input and asked for my help in generating a solution.
So, one out of three. Batting .333 I guess.
All of this reminds me of Jesus’ Parable of the Sower. You know the story. A farmer goes out to scatter the seed, and tosses it indiscriminately across the ground.
And some of it hits the path, where it’s picked clean by birds. Other seed falls into the rocks, where there’s shallow soil. And though something grows, it quickly dies. Then there’s the seed that falls into the thorns. Again, initial growth followed by the plants getting choked out.
And then there’s the fourth soil, the stuff the produces the harvest. According to Mark’s account, it’s the really good stuff, producing a crop that ends up “growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
To me this parable captures the plight of the prophet. You can’t control the results. Some folks will respond well and others won’t.
All you can control is heart towards God, your willingness to speak, and the words you use to deliver the message.
The rest is up to the hearer.