From Seed to Sprout

While travelling across Canada on a retreat team we do not always get the opportunity to see how the lives of the youth we meet are changed from the one day that we get to spend with them, though there are times that we are blessed to see that a few of the youth’s hearts were touched by God. There was one day in mid-October, however, at the end of a retreat that we did in Garcon, a community just outside of Sudbury, when we were blessed to see some of the fruits of our ministry, partly from our efforts, but also partly from the efforts of the NET team that had put on a retreat for those youth last year.

 

It happened that, at the end of this retreat, we had a time of open mic sharing for the youth to go up and share about what struck them from their day. Although there were a few of the youth who went up and made some kind of joke, there were many of the youths who shared about how much they enjoyed their day and how they wished that they would have been more open to the retreat last year. A few of the youth mentioned that they were sad because this was the last year that they would be able to attend one of these retreats. One or two people even said that they would miss us, which they knew because they also missed the NET team from last year. It was a beautiful thing to see that the seeds planted in those youth last year had started to sprout a little.

As I think about those sprouting seeds it makes me think of the parable of the sower (Mk 4:3-9). In the parable Jesus speaks of how a man sows his seeds, and how the seeds land on different kinds of soil. Some seeds land on the path and are picked up by birds, some land by rocks and get scorched by the sun due to a lack of roots, some land among thorns and get choked, and some land on fertile soil and produce an abundance of grain, thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold. Jesus then explains to his disciples that the different kinds of soil are the people who hear God’s word and respond to it in different ways.

It can be easy for us to point fingers at those around us and accuse them of being the less receptive kinds of soil, but the reality is that each of us have within our hearts all of the different kinds of soil. There are parts of our hearts that are like the path where Satan comes and steals away God’s word. Other parts of our hearts are like the rocky ground where we quickly accept God’s word but allow it to die as soon as the trials and hardships of life come. Then there are parts that are like the thorny ground where the cares of the world choke out God’s word and prevent it from taking root. And there are also the parts of our hearts that are like the fertile soil that accept God’s words and produce an abundant harvest. We need to work to make our hearts more fertile so that more seeds can sprout and produce an abundant harvest for God.

Gabriella Debusschere, Team 1