Take a “field trip” with me?
Join me at the edge of a field, vast and broad.
The soft brown earth stretches ahead of me as far as I can see.
Long mounded rows reveal the plow’s path.
I take a deep breath and inhale the rich, musty aroma of fertile earth.
Yes, this soil has been perfectly prepared for my task…
Whatever is planted here has a very good chance of growing. All the elements a seed could need are right here waiting. The field has been well-prepared by its owner. The same one who has commissioned me to plant on his behalf.
I adjust the strap on my shoulder, shifting the weight slightly, before taking my first step onto the field. My hand delves into the multitudes of seeds in the sack, clutching and withdrawing a handful. I toss them methodically, paying close attention to where the seeds are falling…and where they’re not. And then I reach in for another handful. And toss. Reach. Toss. Reach. Toss.
The sun is beating down and the sack is bearing down. I didn’t notice at first; but this labor isn’t easy.
And it’s not without obstacles.
Birds soar overhead, and I know they’ll feast on the seeds the moment I leave the field.
And this sun…it may very well scorch some of the seeds before they have a chance to take root.
But one of the most dangerous enemies of my seeds is being sown by the man next to me. Yes, he’s also tossing seeds, oddly enough.
But his seeds won’t yield a useful crop. Because he is sowing weeds.
The thing is, he thinks he’s helping me. And he thinks he’s making the field a better place with his efforts. But nothing could be further from the truth.
So what’s the point of this little excursion?
The field represents the hearts of my children. And of all children.
Fertile. Soft. Eager to accept whatever seed is sown.
The seeds I’m sowing represent truth.
And the weeds?
I’ve been frustrated lately that at the same time I’m sowing as much truth as I can into the heart of a particular child…
encouraging him to believe that God and Jesus and sin and Satan and heaven and a host of other things he can’t see are real…
someone else in his life is sprinkling in lies disguised as leprechauns and Easter bunnies.
I don’t doubt the intention at all. I’m aware it’s all in the name of “good fun.”
But I can’t help but wonder…when the “good fun” is over and the child learns that this make-believe world of leprechauns, Easter bunnies, tooth fairies, and santa claus isn’t real…
when the weeds are recognized for the imposters they are and are yanked up by the roots and discarded…
how much truth will be uprooted with it? Cast aside? Discarded as if it, too, was a lie…because by then he has come to label belief in anything he can’t see as childish foolishness.
Children are so impressionable, aren’t they?
There’s another term for this: childlike faith.
And I believe God gave this precious gift to children for a particular reason:
So they’ll believe in Him.
Not so we can enjoy watching them have fun as they genuinely believe that pretend things they can’t see are real.
But so they can know that the real God they can’t see is still real.
Please, I implore you to be careful what you’re sowing in the hearts of children. It’s God’s territory, and sowing there is a sacred task. May we always handle it with the utmost caution and diligence!
“They sow fields and plant vineyards
and get a fruitful yield.
By His blessing they multiply greatly…”
Written by Jennifer Clarke