In its deeper layers, Jesus' Parable of the Sower presents not differences between people but different kinds of terrain within each of us. Those who see are those who stand before Jesus and know that we all contain such variety.
Could Abraham know that God is testing him? Or has he simply learned to trust God's instructions? I wonder if obedience is related to relationship, if God desires not mindless obedience so much as trust.
From this side of history, Jeremiah has great resolve. Yet the shifting political allegiances he interprets are not so different from our own uncertainties. Only in retrospect are Jeremiah's claims clear.
There is an 80 percent chance that later in this century a megadrought will plague the American Southwest for decades, according to a study released by researchers at NASA and at Columbia and Cornell universities. The drought will be caused by reduced precipitation and changes in evaporation rates. The researchers say other factors, such as the El Niño weather pattern, could interrupt long periods of severe drought. The researchers say there is time to reduce the factors contributing to climate change (Washington Post, February 12).