Pardon my digression.
I started out today fully intending to leave my home office--(where a thousand things are waiting to be done) and sit at my local coffee/sandwich place of choice to get some serious writing done.
After running 4 errands, I arrived, starved, ready to get busy. Only 2 more errands after this and I could check all those "to-do's" off today's list.
And you know God laughed.
I set myself into a corner table near an outlet to finish my devotion before the writing session. As I'm finishing up my reading from Proverbs, a young couple sit diagonally behind me. Fine. I can tune them out.
Then the conversation started in earnest and got louder. Apparently they are not going out; he is 17 with a 16 year old drama-queen girlfriend and she is 18 or 19, with a penchant for drinking every night. The conversation escalated to their individual sexual prowess.
I really don't want to listen to this.
At this point I was really glad I carry a pair of earplugs in my purse. Yes, really. They are invaluable when one is faced with a situation as described above, having to be a patient in a hospital, or finding oneself at a fireworks show--(my husband is a licensed pyro-technician, so this is not as much an isolated occurrence as one might think).
But I digress.
Earplugs installed, I concentrated on Mark 4 and the parable of the four soils. I use a life application NIV Bible, because I find the footnotes helpful. Verses 18 and 19 caught my eye.
"Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." (Bold letters mine)
The footnote went deeper still. "The four soils represent four different ways people respond to God's message. Usually we think about four different kinds of people. But he may also have been talking about a) different times in a person's life or b) how we willingly receive God's message in some areas of our lives but resist it in others. For example, you may be open to God about your future, but be closed about how you spend your money. Or respond like good soil to God's demand for worship, but be rocky soil to his demand to give to people in need.
We need to be like good soil in every area of our lives."
A life packed with materialistic and carnal pursuits deafens us to God's Word.
I wish I could tell you I spoke to those young people and shared the gospel with them, but I didn't. I prayed they would be receptive to the person who would, whenever that time came. Here at Panera, at 4:30 PM wasn't the time.