It is the beginning of a new year. Many people make resolutions that they hope will make a difference in their lives. Unfortunately, most of them are not fulfilled. This year why not resolve to protect your heart from the enemy.
“Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
Early Sunday morning, Dr. Reed called his children to come out into the garden for a seed-planting game. They selected a plot of ground where they had planned to sow winter rye for the chickens.
“We will use only a small part of this good ground for our game,” announced Daddy Reed, as he set a few stakes to mark off a small corner of the plot. Then he took from his pocket three envelopes. Handing one to Harold, he said, “Son, you may take this dock seed and scatter it as evenly as you can over this corner of the plot.”
Harold objected. “Why, daddy, why plant dock seed? We’ll have an awful time pulling up the plants when they once get started.”
“It’s part of the game,” said the doctor, handing another envelope to Linda. “You may plant this hemlock weed seed.”
“Hemlock!” exclaimed Linda in surprise. “Isn’t that a poisonous plant?” She could scarcely believe her ears when daddy replied, “Yes, it is very poisonous, but this is only a game; we’re just playing it for fun. So scatter the seed over the ground.” Then he gave Betty Lou and Eddie some dandelion seed.
“Ready! Now plant!” came the orders; “scatter your seeds carefully.”
Harold looked at his father as if to ask, “Do you really mean for us to do this foolish thing?” The only response to his questioning look was, “Go ahead and plant the seed!”
Slowly, hesitatingly, the children began to drop the seeds.
“Our seeds are flying away,” exclaimed Eddie. He and Betty Lou ran here and there trying to catch the fluffy things, but the breeze carried them off. Only a few of the dandelion seeds reached the damp ground, which held them fast.
“Now, children, you have sown the seed. The game is to see how many of these seeds you can find and put back into the envelopes.”
“Oh, no!” objected all the children.
Then daddy went on to say, “There is another kind of seed that we are planting every day in the gardens of our hearts. Either we are helping Jesus plant good seed, or we are helping the evil one plant bad seed. Satan has many people working for him, helping scatter bad seeds in the minds of boys and girls, where they will grow into poisonous plants.
“The men who print these books and papers telling about the foolish or wicked things that people can do, and the naughty tricks of children, illustrating their stories with ugly pictures, are helpers of Satan. They try to make these bad things appear as funny as they can so those who read them will think it smart to do the same kinds of things themselves. Other helpers of Satan pile these books on the newsstands where young people will be tempted to spend their nickels and dimes for them. Others make up nonsense pages which go into the newspapers for the entertainment of boys and girls.
“Some of these books and papers are silly. They are like the dandelion seeds that cover the ground with useless plants and keep good seeds from finding a place to grow. They fill the mind with foolishness, so there is little room for the good thoughts which make life beautiful.
“Some are like the dock seeds, which grow big, ugly roots that are hard to pull up. They leave bad pictures in the minds, which are almost impossible to forget.
“But the very worst of all these worthless books are the ones that tell of wicked deeds, like shooting, and stealing, and other sinful things. These bad books are like the poisonous hemlock. They fill the mind with thoughts of sin and crime.
“Now, children, I hope that you will finish this seed planting game and gather up as many of these seeds as you can so they will not spoil our garden. Remember, every one you pick up now will save hard work digging out weeds later on. You may put the seeds back into their envelopes as you gather them up.
“Put the dandelion seed into this envelope marked The Funnies. The dock-weed seed goes into this one marked The Uglies. And this one, for the hemlock seed, I have marked The Crimies.”
The children objected even to trying to find the tiny things, but daddy insisted that they make the effort. An hour later they came into the house tired and discouraged.
“We’ve lost the game,” Harold had to admit, as he handed the almost empty envelopes to his father.
“The seeds are so small we can’t find them, and the dandelion seeds all flew away,” Eddie complained.
“The only thing we can do now is to dig the weeds out early in the spring before they get big,” Harold concluded.
Daddy looked serious as he said, “It will be a hard task to dig out the weeds you planted today in your garden, but not nearly as hard as it would be to uproot the weeds of sin in your lives, if you should be foolish enough to let their seeds into your minds.”
The children all agreed that they would do their very best to keep the bad seeds out, and to sow only good seeds, that would bear beautiful flowers and precious fruit for Jesus.
Happy Home Stories by Ella M. Robinson, Teach Services, Inc.