We all know the familiar parable of the sower. It teaches good things about the condition of our hearts and whether or not we are willing to receive the seed that God casts into our lives. We must decide whether we are hard ground, shallow stony ground, or if we are good soil.
It is easy for me, however, to forget that a plowed, prepared field isn't existing in a vacuum. That the soil of our lives, of my life, won't sit there and wait in pristine condition for me to make up my mind. As a family, we are particular about not letting harmful information into our household. We don't have cable, at this point, we don't even own a tv. We limit our magazine consumption to things like World and Focus on the Family.
However, even though guarding our minds and hearts from evil or contiminating ideas or images is a good thing, it's not enough. The human nature that still exists in these fallen bodies of ours is plenty evil enough to encourage the growth of weeds in our lives. We don't have to encourage things like selfishness, vanity, greed, jealousy etc to grow. They will grow by default. In gardening or farming, what is the only way to keep weeds from overtaking the garden?? To plow and harrow the soil thoroughly, and quickly get the good seed in the ground for germination. Then, to cultivate and pluck out the weeds while the fruitful plants are getting a foothold. Only then can the gardener be less vigilant in his destruction of weeds--after the good seed is rooted and grounded in the good soil. And even then, It is wise to spend a little time regularly looking for weeds that sneak up when we aren't looking--or for weeds that perhaps took over a section that was thinly seeded.
It can be very easy for me to let days go by without ensuring that the good seed of God's Word is being planted in both my life and the lives of my children. It is easy to think that the vigilance we take in guarding our home from bad influence is enough--especially when times are busy, chaotic, or stressful. But weeds grow by default. If no care is taken to plant and cultivate the good seed, weeds inevitably take over. The good soil will not lay there waiting forever in pristine planting condition. We cannot take our grand ole time deciding that later is a good time to start planting. If we don't plant, we'll need to plow all over again before too long.