Faith Like a Farmer
With the 2016 Summer Olympics well underway, our minds are drawn to how hard and long each athlete must work to be selected for the team. Many times the winners are decided by a millisecond of time. It epitomizes the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. In a moment, dreams are realized or destroyed.
It is similar to the soldier. They train for many months or years, and yet few ever see or experience a combat situation. When they do, it is usually over in a matter of minutes until the next battle.
For most of us, the life of an Olympic athlete or soldier would sound exciting in comparison to the life of a farmer. While the life of a farmer may not be as intense as the others, the truth is that a farmer leads quite an exciting life. He works one of the most dangerous careers a person can choose.
Soldiers may face greater dangers from time to time, but a farmer lives and works between sky and earth every day. In our day, farming always outranks any other career in producing work-related injuries and death. Farming is not for dabblers, cowards, or the lazy. Farmers can teach us a lot about faith.
In comparison with athletics and soldiering, farming helps us understand the persistent and patient parts of faith. Action and results come fairly quickly for athletes and soldiers, not for farmers. Farmers place a seed in the ground and return to harvest the results, but the time between those two actions can be considerable.
Successful farmers know how to wait. They may not enjoy waiting, but they learn to do it. Waiting doesn’t usually mean doing nothing, but the hardest part of waiting is the waiting. The farmer who is not hardworking will reap what he sows—little or nothing.
While the athlete and the soldier have some control over the outcome of their training, a wise farmer knows what he can’t do. He can’t put life in a seed. He can’t make it rain. He can’t force the seed to grow. There’s much that’s out of his hands. But he does his part. He plants, he waters, he cultivates—and he waits. The actual results of these actions are in God’s hands.
So whether you picture yourself as an athlete, a soldier, or a farmer, you must understand that it takes hard work, perseverance, and patience to harvest what you have planted. We all have a useful purpose in life. Live so that your life will have a positive impact on others.