by Gina Witty.
Last week my family and I stood out watching farmers in their tractors preparing their fields. Stones had been piled up and the edge of the field and the tractors were busy making their furrows, struggling on hilly parts, working with ease over flatter straighter parts. The children wondered what they were doing and why. They were fascinated by the tractors driving up and down the furrows in the field but, in some ways, the process appeared a little pointless to them. They enquired “why is the tractor just driving up and down the field”. Their interest was pricked as we explained that they were getting ready to sow their seed so that in the autumn they could harvest their crops. In the nature of children – a myriad of questions of various complexity ensued. We tried our best (with our limited knowledge of farming practice) to answer.
Sometimes life has its ebbs and flow, we fall into routines and we chunter along the furrows we’ve created to bring us a sense of peace and assurance that we will achieve our daily tasks. Our activities, and how we manage them can be useful and productive but we should live in a way that our furrows produce harvest and don’t become unwieldy trenches. Sometimes I’ve recognised in my own life that these furrows can become so deep that instead of bringing lightless in the daily flow of life it has imprisoned me. I’ve had to stop what I’m doing, pray and find a way forward to bring release. The very purpose of creating these furrows should be to enable us to sow and reap but sometimes it can become our focus to get us through the day, it’s then we can go off track and get entrenched.
As Christians our focus and faith should always be centred on the life giving, refreshing presence of God in our daily life. This enables us not only to keep going but to win in life giving us the joy of seeing the fruit of our labours. God is good and wants us to enjoy “life to the full”. The other week I was feeling a little engulfed and I broke out of routine and felt prompted to sit in my car in the carpark of my local supermarket just reading and doing on the surface of it ‘naught, zilch, nothing’. It was just for 30mins, but ‘oh my’ did it feel wrong. All the things needing doing, (the never-ending laundry pile, the email responses, that owed phone call etc) were looming over me in my mind, it was as if they were staring at me, boring a hole into my consciousness. I started to doubt the prompting and berate myself for wasting time. In a grump, I decided to pop into the supermarket and at least get some provisions. It was at that moment I bumped into someone I hadn’t seen for a while who was in need of encouragement, it was a fruitful conversation and afterwards I felt as though God was saying “See when you follow my promptings, I will bring fruit.”
This whole thought process has caused me to ask myself a question “What are your furrows producing?” Am I producing routines that lead to fruitfulness? That fruitfulness will be different for different people at different seasons of life but whatever stage we are at we all want to produce and then reap and not remain stagnant by continuing to dig that furrow that entrenches us.
So I am throwing that question to you…”what are your furrows producing?”
All these ponderings brought me back to a verse God gave me at the beginning of the year:
Psalm 65:9-11 “You visit the earth and cause it to overflow; You greatly enrich it; The stream of God is full of water; You prepare their grain, for thus You prepare the earth. You water its furrows abundantly, You settle its ridges, You soften it with showers, You bless its growth. You have crowned the year with Your bounty, And Your paths drip with fatness.”
Amen, yes please God, water my furrows abundantly, let the seed you give me grow and crown my year with your bounty!