How often do you think about soil?

If we want vegetables, we head to a grocery store and pick them up, or better yet, head to a restaurant for a ready-made salad.  Not so long ago, however, people worked the land to provide their own food.  They learned about cultivating the soil for optimal conditions.  Removing rocks, clearing weeds, tilling the ground, adding fertilizer.  Hard work.

 In Matthew 13: 3-8, Jesus tells the parable of the sower.  The metaphor of a sower is being used to represent the word of God being spread to those who might hear it.  Growing up as a regular church attender, I can recite this parable from memory.  In all the times I listened to this parable, I never once considered I might not be the good soil.  Looking at what is required to prepare the ground for optimal growth, it is arrogant to think that we’re automatically good soil. 

What work can we do to prepare for bearing fruit?  What rocks can I remove that block the seed from receiving light?  What weeds can we remove that threaten to choke the seed out?  How can I change my attitude when things are difficult?  If we claim to be good soil, what work are we doing to prepare our fields for the harvest?