a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
Rain is critical to the harvest. The timing of the rain can determine if it is a blessing or a curse. Too much rain in the spring can delay the planting of crops. This can through off the necessary time needed for crops to mature. The absence of rain, especially during the growing season, can cause drought and destroy crops. At the same time, an abundance of rain can drown them.
Fall rains offer a unique challenge. One non-farmers rarely consider. This is the time of year, crops need to be dry to be harvested. If an abundance of rain falls, like it has in Minnesota, it can threaten a great growing season. Now farmers are up against the clock. Cold weather is quickly approaching.
A farmers relationship with rain reveals a universal truth. Timing is critical. And, we humans can’t determine it, nor can we control it.
Since moving into the city, I no longer see the fields during harvest. Removed from watching the process unfold, I find I never think about it. It wasn’t until someone posted about potential flooding in Iowa I was reminded of the threat. If I had never spent time around farms it never would have crossed my mind.
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak
Being reminded of farmers, led me to consider how little I know about others. The concerns in my life often center on me, because that is the life I watch the most. The concerns of others often happen out of my sight. Absent from seeing the events influencing my neighbor, I never think of their impact.
A time will come when my neighbor will need to speak of their wounds. It will happen when the weight is too great to carry in silence any longer. When that time comes, my neighbor will need my ears more than my mouth.
Lord, grant me the wisdom to remain silent when words will not help. Open my ears to hear the words of my neighbor so I might know your children’s need. Then, grant me strength to speak of your love and to pray when the time is right. (Eccl. 3: 1-11)