Later that same day, Jesus left the house and went down to the shore, where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into a boat, where he sat and taught as the people listened on the shore. He told many stories such as this one:
“A farmer went out to plant some seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The plants sprang up quickly, but they soon wilted beneath the hot sun and died because the roots had no nourishment in the shallow soil. Other seeds fell among thorns that shot up and choked out the tender blades. But some seeds fell on fertile soil and produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted. Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand!”
Pay attention to the verbs used at the end. Hear, listen, understand. The first step in allowing the words of Christ to form us is hearing properly. In this case, hearing means imagining. Picture the farmer toiling in his task as he sows with expectancy. Here is the heart of God—a God whose desire is nothing other than our selves. Now imagine the grounds on which the seeds fell. Which ground do you identify with? Are you willing to hear the words of Christ, and be taken up into the life of Kingdom? If the Word is to take root, it begins with hearing Him properly, which bids us slow down and learn to imagine.
Imagine life in the Kingdom. Imagine yourself in the Kingdom and what this means for your life.