Monday, March 24, 2014

Before the Harvest

Monday, March 24, 2014
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near;
let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts;
let them return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, 
and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, 
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.  
Isaiah 55:6-13 (NRSV)

What farmer would think of harvesting first? 

I’ll tell you what farmer – the one who knows nothing about farming!  Uh…me!

The first (and last) time I got the itch to till the land we were living in Florida.  I had no clue about raising a garden; I only knew my friends all had shelves filled with wonderful stuff I had sampled at church dinners.  I wanted-in on that!

So I rented a tiller, marked off a modest 10’ x 15’ plot, hauled some manure and bought some seeds.  How hard could this be? 

Fast-forward two months:  from a $200 investment we reaped the magnificent bounty of 3 pencil-sized cucumbers, a tomato that resembled a marble I had as a kid, and one half-eaten squash (thanks to the bumper crop of squirrels that year).

Farming is not my gift!  I understand some theory about farming, but when you actually dig your hands in the terrain I begin to lose my way.  After years of reflecting, I have come to understand that my problem was I had great plans for the harvest, but little respect for the order and discipline of gardening.  

So let me stick to the theory; incidentally farming theory applies also to life:

Just as there is an order to agriculture (prepare the soil, plant, nurture, harvest), there is an order of relationship with God; you come to Him on HIS terms, and…….. repeat!

That’s it – don’t try to over-think this; it’s way-above our pay grade!

For the rest of the week we’re going to pick-apart Isaiah’s passage seeking the Lord while He may be found.  The road begins at His ways are higher than ours – all the way home to the fields clapping their hands.

I suggest you prepare to get your hands in the soil.

Today…for you

Meditate on farming as a metaphor for life. 

(If you care to, and have time, leave me a comment about it.  I love to know other people are rotten farmers too.)

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