Our route to church includes a section we call “the rock cut”. It is a small stretch where the hillside was carved out to make the road. The result is a clear view of sedimentary rock. From time to time, road engineers will clear this area of fallen rocks, trees that have grown up on the hillsides, weeds, and even a stray wild flower or two. They scrape away the rocky sides so it is safer to drive through this area and all vegetation disappears.
This was done a year or so ago and “the rock cut” has been a clear rocky surface again. This year as spring has been in full bloom, I noticed that the rocky hillsides are once again covered with green. Weeds are abundant, small trees have taken root again, and the sandy color of rock is disappearing under the growth of green vegetation everywhere. It is a cycle that continues over and over again.
Recently on the way to church it reminded me of the parable of the sower in Mark 4. The seed in our rock cut has not grown up quickly. Last year there was barely a shadow of green here and there, but by the end of this summer hues of green will be nearly covering this area once again. Clearly, it is not a soil that is friendly to seeds and yet they persist.
As I look at the area and freshly consider the parable, I see how tenacious the weeds, trees, and flowers are. They keep on growing and pushing into the soft sedimentary rock to take hold.
We often hear sermons about this parable and consider the condition of the soil, but on our rock cut and on numerous trips to the Rocky Mountains I have observed things are growing and coming to life in tiny crevices. It reminds me of the power God has given to living things. They keep on trying to grow, to find a way to continue, to bloom.
Yes, many of the green plants I saw will not thrive, but I have watched this cycle for a long time and I know that road engineers will need to return again and again to undo what is growing and causing rocks to loosen and tumble toward the roadway.
Whatever may be happening in your life, whether it seems to be parched, nearly dead or flourishing with blooms abundant, know that when God called forth life on the earth there was great power in that call.
Whatever the difficulty may be, life will continue in cycles and seasons and seek to bloom again.
He is still calling forth life in His creation, in you, in me, in all of us.