From the Farm

One of the great things about working on the farm is there is plenty of time to reflect while you are working. This is not our traditional farm article but I thought you might be interested in things that the farm is teaching me about life. I recently had just such a learning experience where it seemed God was just speaking such powerful truth to me.

I don't know if this has ever happened to you but I have experienced several brief moments in life that I know I will carry with me forever. I am not talking about things like near death experiences or the birth of your child or your wedding day. I am talking about days that for all appearances are just another every other day. They are nothing special or at least that is what they appear to be.

This happened to me the other day while I was filling pots for the field. It is a necessary task but a some what mindless task after you have filled the first hundred pots and have several hundred more to go. As I was filling them I suddenly experienced a heightened awareness of my surroundings. It was a warm summer day. The heat was dissipated by the cool shade of the oak tree I was working under. Suddenly I noticed a soft cool breeze blow through and I felt the earliest hints of fall in the air. At the same time the cicadas' begin to chirp their beautiful summer song. It started out just a few and then gradually hundreds all around me joined in the chorus that comes and goes like a wave lasting only a few seconds. Over head a red tail hawk was circling and calling out its song as if to join the cicadas. It was one of those perfect moments where for just the briefest of time I was submerged and one with everything around me. It left me with a wonderful feeling of peace and calm as I knew that at that moment I was right where God wanted me to be doing exactly what he intended for me to do.

It may sound silly, but these are moments that leave me wanting more of them. I found myself wondering why we don't experience more moments like this in our lives. The last one that I could remember happened to me back in 1991. It was similar situation where I was working in my yard on a cool morning just before Thanksgiving. I still carry the memory of the smell of wood burning in the fireplaces of our neighbors and the sounds of baying hounds on the hunt in the near by woods as if it happened yesterday.

As I reflected on this I sensed God whispering the answer to me. "It is because we are not living life as I intended." I believe that is true for most of us here in America. We are so consumed with working and achieving that we never stop to really experience life as it really is. We live in these enclosed boxes called homes and office buildings totally cut off from our world by modern conveniences like air conditioning, garage door openers and electric lights. Don't misunderstand me. I enjoy those things and use them often too. But just maybe we would be better off if we scheduled some time to check out of what we perceive as our world and check into the real world.

When I left my fulltime job one fear I had was I would feel disconnected from the world. I would be too isolated and out of the loop. But now as I stand in the field each morning I listened to frantic pace of cars passing the farm as their drivers scurry of to work and I am saddened. I am saddened for those people who are missing out on this real world that our gracious creator intended for us to experience. It is an amazing world and it is an incredible gift that too often we miss out on like an unopened gift stuck in the back of our closet.

On the farm Pat and I spend most of our time focusing on your physical health through healthy food and good eating habits. But there has always been a very spiritual aspect to this farm. For years people have been telling us that they experience a real sense of peace and pleasure when they are here. We can't explain it except to say this is a blessed and sacred place where God chooses to heal your spirit and mind if only for a brief few moments. Pat and I hope that in some way we contribute to your spiritual and mental health as well as your physical health. Maybe you just need to come spend some time filling pots. The shovel is calling!