Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prepare the Field

Hosea 10:12
(12) Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

I think it is sometimes difficult for me to really grasp all the agrarian imagery of the Bible. I grew up in a suburb and the closest I've come to farming is when I would visit my grandparents' house in SW Ohio. My dad grew up on 65 acres and they farmed the land, though that was not their sole source of income. I have some agrarian roots, if you will, but I don't have much experience with it.

What I do know is that this verse reminds me of the parable of the four soils. I have put in a couple of new lawns in my day and I have been amazed at how grass seed will grow even on the cracks in the sidewalk. It will even grow briefly on the sidewalk if there is just a tiny bit of soil there. However, it does not last.

I think of how hard my own heart is. I certainly spend regular time scattering seed in it. I read Scripture daily. I review my memorization work. I attend church. I listen to good podcasts of sermons and other Christian discussions. With all of that I feel like my life should produce a lot more fruit. I feel like there should be much less sin in it. Yet I still see a dearth of fruit and more sin than I feel like there should be.

I need to have my fallow ground broken up. This is a hard lesson for me! I've been through brokenness and I don't want to go through it again. Yet the commands of Scripture are inescapable.

1 comment:

tom sheepandgoats said...

jason: My dad, too, was raised on a dairy farm but moved to Rochester before marrying & raising us kids. One week each year we would go back to the farm where the rest of the family was. He'd (and to a much lesser extent, us) help with the chores. He was right at home, but my city-bred mom was like a fish out of water.

Regarding agrarian metaphors, you may like this story. One of our circuit overseers (traveling ministers) would tell of one circuit in which he told congregation members that a "working mule won't kick and a kicking mule won't fight." Thus, get on with the Christian activity we are meant to get on with, and there will be less time and inclination for squabbling. It was a great illustration in his rural congregations. Folks loved it.

Then he was transferred to NYC and nobody knew what a mule was.