Seed for the Sower
I spent a decade of my formative years growing up in the corn belt. A farm field ran along the back of our home, a cattle pasture lay across the street. Rural.
However, I grew up as a daughter of a commuter, not a farmer. The fields were not ours. In mid-summer, we performed “corn checks” and all stand in front of the corn to see how far above our heads it had grown. After harvest, we would run barefoot over the black dirt and snag withered leftover pods in the soybean fields and pretend to use the seeds for food.
When people ask where I grew up, I tend to say “surrounded by corn fields.” I was not, however, born in a barn, thank you very much!
Because the years I spent in the rural Midwest (oxymoron?) were good to me, I chose to locate several stories in a farming town similar to mine. A few of my characters are the children of farmers. Naturally, I’ve been following a few agricultural blogs for research, and let me tell you… I knew nothing about farming. Except for the most basic parts of farming (dirt + seeds + rain = corn), my actual knowledge of agriculture was nil.
In the last four months of research, I’ve learned more about farming than in the ten years that I actually lived by a farm.
Bread for the Eater
As thankful as I am that I grew up in a Christian household, that would not be enough to sustain me through the difficult times of being human. You don’t really get much more Christian bubble than I was in…am in. I’ve been surrounded by Christians my whole life. I’ve worked at Christian ministries for most of professional career. (What? You thought my blogging and writing supported me? Ummmm. No.)
You can learn a lot about Christianity when surrounded by Christians. To learn about Jesus Christ and God the Father requires more than a passive existence in a Christian atmosphere.
The great poet Isaiah beckons his readers, “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7*)
In the New Testament, Jesus commands His disciples, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
— Psalm 34:8
I won’t know enough about farming to write about it unless I research it — I certainly didn’t learn much by running through the fields as a girl. Likewise, I won’t know God until I search for Him in His word. Intentionally. Personally. Continually.
And what better thing could there be than growing deeper in knowledge of the One Who created all: us, the sparrows, and the soybeans.
*Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.