Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Cantaloupe Rows

Looks pretty good, doesn’t it? Have you grown a few? A lot? Yesterday I thought about how many we had grown (and given away – not enough to sell, too many to eat) and how many grow around our community. The soil is right around here and it’s nice to purchase local produce. But, a lot of work goes into placing these on our tables.

It’s been on my mind since yesterday’s funeral. A 17-year-old soon-to-be-junior in high school died in an accident on the farm road we use often. I had seen him with his Mom, Dad, and sister at our combined church services July 2. His Dad had been our church’s youth minister several years ago and is now pastor at another local church.

As with every human on this planet, he was unique. No one else has an exact backstory, no one else experienced the same incidents in the same order/timeframe. He took no one’s place, no one can take his place, and he left his mark on hundreds of lives. His Dad told us some of their stories while we grieved, yet celebrated his life.

He worked in cantaloupe fields. To do so, he needed a good shade hat and a hoe. The task is removing weeds down one row, then turn around at the end and remove weeds down the next row, repeating repeatedly. He questioned, “Why?” and was told it allowed the plants to grow good fruit. It was hard to understand when there were only greenery around him and it all appeared to be weeds. His Dad was right – soon there were blooms which turned into small green fruit. The weeding became easier as the plants and fruit grew and he took pride in doing his work.

There were many more stories, but this one lends itself so well as a biblical example. When we realize our sins and accept God made plans for us, it is fairly easy that first day to begin walking down the rows of our life and remove sinful deed/thoughts. Too soon, it becomes hard to differentiate between fruit bearing plans and weeds in our life. Paul wrote of something similar:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: (Galatians 1:6 KJV)

It happens to many. Some early in their walk with the Lord, some later. Some so serious they sit down in defeat, some continue slowly, and others appear to keep that hoe moving down the rows successfully. None of that matters as to how we do our own. We are not responsible for them, only for ourselves. Nothing I do, say or write can change one person – but it might make them think.

For me the story is one of perseverance. I know the physical work paid off because he eventually started a company of his own, putting friends to work. Even in high school he was offered a job that would grow into a career, had he lived.

More importantly, he was taught integrity, responsibility, the difference between doing right and doing wrong. From his friends we heard examples of the application of those lessons. Most importantly, he learned the difference between saying he was a Christian so he would “fit in” with friends in church – and actually accepting that Christ was his needed way, truth and life. It takes faith to express that change to the people he knew and loved. He did that this past winter.

John explained why he wrote. He mentioned it twice – in John 20:31 and again:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13 KJV)

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking time to read and comment on the blog. Comments should take into consideration this verse: Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8 KJV)