New Mown Hay…

While we were in northwestern Montana, near Kalispell and Columbia Falls, we opted to stay at a working ranch that sat on a bluff overlooking the Flathead River. It’s been many, many years since I have been on an actual ranch and this particular place boasted a number of horses for guests to ride as well as 4 cabins along the river instead of having to stay up in the main house. We occupied cabin #2, a short walk down from the main lodge and right in front of a large field filled with a crop of hay. The owner of the ranch greeted us warmly and showed us where we would be staying.

As we went along the path, he pointed out that he had to get the field mowed – and that he would need at least half of the crop generated from the fields just to feed his horses. I didn’t think much of his comments until later that evening when I heard the tractor fire up and suddenly, hay was being cut in the fields. All I could smell was that wet grass smell that comes from fresh mown hay…

I remembered when I was 17 years old and back in Pfronten, Germany – living with a family in the Bavarian Alps – and they raised their own crops for their animals as well. While I was there, about the same time in summer, I remember the crops being harvested and that same familiar smell permeating my senses. That was the summer of 1970, the year I graduated from high school, and for all intents and purposes, the last time I smelled the new mown hay out in the fields. For a moment, I was surprised by how strong the memories were – and how much has happened in my life since that summer. Here I was, almost 45 years later, at a ranch in Montana, reflecting back on my life in Germany that fateful summer.

Now, I am the grandfather, not the grandson… I am 61 – not 17. And I make more than the $.97 per hour I was paid in Germany to work in a factory that summer. I am married to a woman that I had already known for 12 years by the time I went to Pfronten. We have three children, four grandchildren and our lives have taken twists and turns that I could never have imagined. We have moved numerous times and back then, I could never have imagined that I would ever leave Chicago. Yet here I am in central Indiana, where I have now lived more than half my life. Who would have thought?

And while back then I was thinking about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I am now trying to decide the same thing – albeit from a little different perspective. I am nearing the end of my career – words that I never, ever thought I would ever think, let alone speak. Just maybe I should really concentrate on farming – sowing seed and harvesting as needed. I think that is what Dr. Luke meant when he wrote a verse in his gospel about the words of Jesus – Luke 10:2, “He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

My encouragement this evening is that God loves it when we work alongside Him in the fields, sowing seed and praying for a good harvest. My prayer is that you will see the benefit of also participating in the harvest of souls for the kingdom of God. And don’t be fooled – the harvest is huge and there aren’t that many of us so we must be diligent. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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