The Insane Farmer

There was a man who inherited a beautiful Farm.  It was situated on an open plain, high above the valley.  His acreage was mixed with a large open meadow and a forest of trees.  The house on the property was exceedingly well-built and perfectly proportioned for the life of one man.

When he went into the house to claim his inheritance, he found it in pristine order.  It was furnished with everything he might need.  On the dining room table was a note that had been left for the new owner.  The note read as follows:

You will find this place perfectly suited to you.  I have lived my life here as will you; isolated yet healthy.  Troubled, yet busy.  Farming is no easy business.  But you will grow to appreciate the gift.

You will find a good bag of seeds in the pantry.  Plow and plant a good crop, as seems best to you.  The ground is very fertile.  The crop you raise will produce a good profit for your labor.  You will also find a sled, a saw, and an axe in the barn. 

I leave you with only two stipulations.  Give of the overflow of your crop to the people in the valley below.  And as you find yourself able and willing, produce plenty of firewood.  The overflow of wood you are to bear on the sled to the people in the valley below also.

Otherwise you are more than welcome to live the rest of your life in this beautiful place I have prepared from my successor.”

The soul of the man was overjoyed to do the things required of him.  And in his first year he found the land rich and the trees prime for harvest.  The work was, indeed difficult.  But the joy of harvest overcame the sweat, blood, and frustrations.  After delivery of his first gifts to the valley, he sat well satisfied.  Giving of his harvest had made it all worthwhile.

The man was not a good farmer but he was willing to learn.  And the cutting down the trees was difficult at first.  But he was faithful to deliver his abundance of crop and firewood to the people below.

But there is a reason why this man was picked to inherit this beautiful gift.  The previous owner had been looking for just such as he to hand down the property.  The current owner had a bit of an insane bend.

He would work for weeks as a perfectly rational farmer.  Then the sky would be witness to a moment or two of insanity.

On random days, the morning would see him go to the barn.  He would take his well made shovel and head out to the field.  With wild-eyed diligence, he would dig a small trench around a tiny portion of crop.  When the trench had isolated that portion, he would set it on fire.  With his insanity satiated from his odd work, he would go back to the house with his head hung low.

Throughout the night perplexity would overcome him with sorrow.  No mater how he reasoned, he could not explain his lack of wisdom.  And as the next morning came, the sky would be witness to him as he sat on his front porch trying to understand.

At first such moments in the morning were filled with sorrow and tears.  But as the years passed, the sky would see him wrestle, in truth, to accept what he could not change.

He was a man mixed with faithful endurance and ridiculous insanity.  Thus the reason for his isolation.  Who in the valley would understand?  Yet by his beautiful inheritance, he gave them what he could.

How many of us are like this man?  Though we know to do good, we find ourselves doing evil.  And how do we find ourselves able to explain this insanity?

Perhaps there are many who can overcome this circus of failure.  But for the majority, overcoming does not appear.

But take note of the man’s response to his own incredible weakness.  He was faithful to deliver the expectation.  And he did not flinch to provide.  While sanity ruled his days, he worked from sun up to sun down.  Determination remained to fulfill his charge.  And who can say?  Perhaps his sane determination was in excess; so as to replace what his insanity destroyed.

When you find those moments of sorrow, endure them with what truth lives in your soul.  Then get back to your feet and get back to work.  There are people depending on what faithfulness you are able to sustain.

Do not let your failings disrupt the needs of others.  They too have their own moments of unexplainable insanity.  But by our meager faithfulness, the community of men is sustained.

P. S. This story makes no mention of grace, nor the Gospel.  But the Grace of God, and the Good News of Christ, are the singular reason for every work produced here.

By His Grace

“Who Respects a Fool?”

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The farmer plows his field.  He sets his implements together.  He checks all the connections.  He drives over to the field.  Getting the plow into the field, he lowers the blades.  After putting the tractor in gear, he looks forward and picks a place to use as his guide for a straight line.  Letting out the clutch, he starts another year.

At the end of the row, he lifts the plow and turns around.  He sets his sights on the barn.  And, with plow up, he puts the tractor in “fast” and heads home.  In his mind, he’s done his work.  What?  He’s got 300 acres!  Anyone would think the farmer has flipped his gourd if he really thinks he’s done enough.

Many people have set themselves apart.  They have understood the message of the Gospel and taken it to heart.  Sadly, many who have a confidence in themselves have not understood the message however.  They think, like the farmer, that simply doing the minimum will satisfy the Lord of Righteousness.  But the Christian life is not a one word experience.  It is a life of dedication to growth.  Those who think they can simply attend church or speak nice words are sadly mistaken.  What of sin in your life?  Another row to plow.  What of the movies you watch?  Another row to plow.  What of your prayer life?   Another row to plow.  What of forgiving others?  Another row to plow.  What of reading the Bible on a regular basis?  Another row to plow.  What of learning from God to do everything He tells us to do?  Another row to plow.

57As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.”

58Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59He said to another man, “Follow me.”

But he replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

60Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”

62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9)