Each of the synoptic Gospels tells the parable of the sower. In those stories we learn some seed was sown on rocky soil and, as soon as it grew up, it withered away because it had no moisture. Jesus explains to his disciples that the seed sown on rocky ground represents someone who hears the word and initially receives it with joy, but has no roots, so that when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word the person falls away.
I thought of that passage as Dave and I were hiking yesterday. At one point, at the side of the trail was a rock out of which a small pine tree was growing. It was actually small pine branches, that I suspect will never become a large tree, but still, they were growing right out of the side of the rock.
What came to my mind as I looked at it with wonder, was how relentless God is in trying to get through to us. The truth is that we are all sometime like the rocky soil of the parable – we hear with excitement and then get tossed around a bit. We just don’t always get it the first time around.
But God keeps on coming – keeps reaching to us and keeps speaking the Word to us. Over and over again.
And I thought as I looked at that rock: If God can grow a small pine tree out of a rock, God will succeed in getting through to us, no matter how difficult the task.