“It seems that many years ago
A sower sallied forth to sow.
He scattered seed both far and near,
A little there, a little here,
And cared not where his seed would go,
This heedless, sowing so and so.
So, no surprise, it came to pass
That some seed fell upon a path
Which many feet had trampled on.
It did not linger there for long –
With gleeful flapping came the birds
And guzzled up those seeds (or words,
As later shall perhaps be shown,
For just like seeds, words may be sown).
So anyway, with mighty arm
The man progressed across his farm
And blindly scattered seed around
An area of stony ground.
This was a shoddy bit of land
And if he’d thought things through, or planned
His sowing pattern properly,
By now he could be sipping tea,
Or having supper with his wife
And generally enjoying life.
Instead his work is far from done,
But never mind, he’s having fun!
Our sowing friend keeps scattering,
The seeds are falling, pattering
This time upon a place where thorn
And bramble leave his trousers torn.
All unconcerned he soldiers on,
Though more than half his seed is gone.
But in the end, by chance, he found
A well-appointed piece of ground.
The soil was rich, the drainage good,
The plot looked just the way it should,
And there he emptied out his sack,
And smiled, and slowly wandered back.
He said, “Behold, a job well done!
I’ve finished off what I’ve begun.”
The sun arose, the rain did fall,
The wind blew up a dreadful squall.
The farmer donned his welly boots,
And went out to inspect the shoots.
He came to where the path had been
And gazed upon a sorry scene:
A trampled mix of mud and feather
Caused by fowl and feet and weather.
And nearby on the stony ground
Were stems all feeble and unsound.
He hunted in the bramble patches,
But came away with only scratches.
Then, bless my soul, what did he spy?
A host of stalks a metre high!
He danced for all that he was worth
Around that wondrous patch of earth,
Which, come the harvest, so I’m told,
Increased itself an hundredfold.”
Said Jesus, “Now my tale is done,
So, thanks for listening everyone,
I hope it’s brightened up your day,
And now I’d best be on my way.”
His friends came up and shook his hand,
But whined, “We didn’t understand!”
They journeyed on and, as they went,
He told them what the story meant.
“Listen well my friends, take heed!
Each tale I tell is like a seed.
It may sound odd, it may ring clear,
Depending on the way you hear.
(The same applies not just to mine
But truthful tales of every kind.)
Some folk, through their whole careers,
Have only really used their ears
To keep a hat of too large size
From slipping down before their eyes.
It will increase your comprehension
If you really pay attention.
Hear with ears of intuition,
Not those deafened by tradition,
Nor the ones your parents trained
To be conformist and constrained.
Woe to him who tunes and bends
His ears to pick up passing trends.
Do you listen to grow wise?
Or do you like to criticise?
Those who think they know it all
Are surely destined for a fall.
Perhaps you listen so next day
You’ll have some clever thing to say?
Some wise remark that may be true,
But doesn’t yet belong to you?
Growth in spirit cannot start,
Until you take the truth to heart.
So, guard the precious seed I’ve sown,
Until the words become your own.
Learn the lessons, try them, test them,
Eat the words and then digest them.
Let them energise your actions,
Don’t get caught up in distractions,
Tempting you to waste your time,
Performing life’s grim pantomime.
Love the silence, learn to wait,
Take things slowly – meditate!
How you listen will determine,
If your fruit will have a worm in,
Or be food to feed the soul,
Let this always be your goal.
If you live my teachings out,
New ideas will start to sprout,
And suddenly you’ll find the world
Is like a treasure map unfurled.
Nature loves the ones who seek –
When you listen, she will speak.
As the seed takes root inside,
So fruitfulness is multiplied,
Your mind expands with new ideas
And creativity appears.
The world will see the change in you.
Try it out, you’ll find it’s true.”