Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Life - Wheat or Tares? Planting and weeding.

Continuing on with this week's Bible lesson on Life, as a synonym for God, we come to one of Jesus' parables. He was addressing a great multitude of people who had gathered by the sea side. He had already given them the parable about the kingdom of heaven by telling about a sower who sowed his seed on different types of soil. Now he continues his teaching with something closer to home, a sower working his own fields. This man has sown good seed, in modern terms we might think of it as reading his lesson, studying the Bible, attending church, obeying the Commandments. But as men slept, an enemy stole in and sowed tares in the same field. One Bible dictionary defines tares as poisonous grass, indistinguishable from the sprouting wheat. So these are those little whispered suggestions that would have us think unkind, angry or frightened thoughts. They are poisonous and try to disguise themselves as our own thoughts about persons, places and things. This can only happen when the field is unguarded, when we drift away from devotion to spiritual growth, or become apathetic. The two ways of thinking seem to grow side by side until the 'fruit' appears. If you have any questions about what form that 'fruit' takes read how Paul describes it in Galatians 5:19-23. Seeing this 'fruit', or for our purposes behaviors, the servants ask where, if the Sower had done his work, where did the tares come from? Isn't this just what error wants us to do? Divert attention from its nothingness by trying to make us accept it as a real problem or quality. (The question is not where it came from but is it real. ) The Sower is not fooled, he tells them that it is not in him, an enemy has done this. Now they want to get rid of the tares but the Sower knows that is not the way to deal with the problem. They will soon show their real identity and then it is easy to distinguish the real from the counterfeit.

Here is where we can make this parable very practical in our daily life. When 'tares' or those qualities listed in Galatians show up in our church, our community, our family, our friends, or our own self, we can know that it is not the church or the community or the family or friends, it is not in our own identity. It is nothing but a suggestion demanding that we make it real. We know it by its 'fruit' and can cast it out. Those roots may have been allowed to grow deep but they must yield to the power of God, good. In reality, Christian Science shows how they never really were a part of us or anyone else. Mrs. Eddy writes: 'The temporal and unreal never touch the eternal and real. The mutable and imperfect never touch the immutable and perfect. The inharmonious and self-destructive never touch the harmonious and self-existent. These opposite qualitites are the tares and wheat, which never really mingle, though (to mortal sight) they grow side by side until the harvest; then, Science separates the wheat from the tares, through realization of God as ever present and of man as reflecting the divine likeness".

Start your day sowing good seed, stay alert so the enemy can't sneak in any wrong ideas, and be diligent in removing from your day anything that doesn't belong there. Remember that God is always present, good is always present, and you are made in that image and likeness. No tares!

Be at peace.

No comments: