as told by Saffron snail
Hello there; Saffron here.
I expect you're a bit surprised to find a snail telling Bible stories. I mean, we're not actually animals, not like lions, donkeys, sheep, goats and so on. Nobody really takes much notice of us; unless they step on us or they discover that we've eaten their lettuces.
But that's ok - we know that God made us just like he made all the other creatures, and he made us like this for a reason. It's ok to be who God made you to be, you know.
So maybe I'm the right person to tell you another of the stories that Jesus told. This one is about some seeds. Seeds are also small and it's easy not to notice them. They grow very slowly,but in time, and with a bit of care and patience, they can grow into pretty flowers, tasty vegetables or tall plants or trees. Apart from being small, we snails move rather slowly too, which might be another reason why people don't bother with us. They're always so busy and rushing around, they don't have time for the smaller, and slower, things.
Anyway, this story that Jesus told was about a farmer who went out to sow some seeds. In those days they didn't have all the machines and tools that we have now; they would have had the seeds in a basket or apron and scattered them by hand. As the farmer was doing this, some of the seed fell onto a path. Well unfortunately there is no earth on a path so it couldn't grow, but at least the birds had a nice meal. Then, some of the seed that the farmer scattered fell onto some stony land. There was a little bit of earth here, but not much and the plants couldn't grow any roots. Plants need good roots to be able to get their food and water. As they couldn't get any, when the sun came out, they withered and sadly died. Some of the seed that the farmer scattered fell onto a different kind of land - where there were lots of bushes with thorns. The seeds grew a little, but the thorny plants also grew, and soon they took over so that there was no room for the little plants to grow and see the sun. But in case you're thinking that this is all very sad, that he wasn't a very good farmer and wasn't able to grow any food, some of his seed fell onto good soil; a patch of earth that had no stones, weeds or thorns, where the plants could grow tall and strong. Which they did, and some produced a lot of food.
Jesus told this story to show that everybody acts in different ways when they hear stories from the Bible. Some people don't listen and aren't interested; so they may hear the stories, but they don't want to think, or do anything, about them. You could say that the things that they've heard get forgotten about and disappear. Some people might be interested in the stories, or Bible teaching, but they only think about them a little bit, and if they get ill or have problems in their lives, they may forget all about what they have heard; it doesn't seem very important any more. Other people may be quite interested in what they hear, they think about it and the "seed", which is a teaching from the Bible, might even grow quite tall. But sometimes it can be difficult to read and be interested in the Bible if you have friends, or family, who aren't very interested. Some unkind people might even make fun of you for reading about what God says, or tell you that it doesn't matter if you don't believe it. And it can be quite difficult to be strong and tell them that this is important to you; it's sometimes easier to give in, give up and do whatever your friends are doing. But some people do listen to the stories that Jesus told us and believe what he, and God, have said to us. These people are described as being like good soil. The seed falls on this good soil, grows and produces lots of good things. The people who believe these teachings and stories may find that they change, become better people, start helping others a bit more and doing good things. They might become happier, as they learn how much God loves and cares for them.
I wonder if any of these stories that my friends and I have told you have made you think more about Jesus? I wonder if any of them have changed you in some way?