Parables are extended metaphors -- a story to help us see kingdom values in a new way. Someone once suggested that one should view a parable like a painting. Step back and get the whole picture before beginning to examine the details, brush strokes, etc. In Jesus parables we need to see the big picture -- the key central point or motif before we examine the details. That's what makes the parable of the sower so interesting -- the big picture is that not all who hear and respond to the good new of the Kingdom of God will become fruitful. Some will be dragged down by the cares of this world others from lack of depth and still others because they missed the path. On a macro scale we can all remember people who began this journey only to give up at the first sign of sacrifice or difficulty. On a micro scale I can see myself in each and every one of these examples. There have been times when I have refused to allow the word to be born in me. There have been times when I have lived in profoundly shallow ways and got scorched by the noon day heat. There have been times when I have been so preoccupied with the cares and worries that life brings that God's word has been choked out of me. Fortunately, there are also all the times when I have been fruitful.
Don't hide your light and remember that small beginnings can produce great results.