September 4, 2019
We are in the midst of fair week here in Fulton County. A time when young minds dream about the possibilities of their future, and old minds reflect on their history. And those in between just reflect or dream. As I walked through the fair, I saw many items from years gone by, old tractors, old cars, old implements, as well as new shiny big beautiful things and I wonder what the future holds for the farming community. It seems like only yesterday that I was a small boy riding my horse to my grandparents to help my uncle husk corn by hand. We hauled corn to the corn crib with horses and a steel wheeled wagon. We shoveled the corn from the wagon to the corn crib with a scoop shovel. Everything was very labor intensive. I would grab the stalks of corn and rip the corn out of the husks and throw it in the wagon, I wondered why we couldn’t have the fancy machines to go through the field and pick the corn. I learned a lot by that experience. I learned that steady and consistently staying at the job gets things done. When I tried to go fast, I would tear up my arms, miss corn, and get frustrated. There was nothing sweeter at the end of the day than to sit under the shade tree and have a glass of homemade root beer and one of grandma’s huge cookies. Grandpa would sit back in the chair and would tell stories of plowing the fields of North Dakota, and how much time it took with a team of horses. He would tell stories of going to town with the horse and buggy and being concerned about storms that pop up and could catch you and make it difficult to find your way. Now we have nice cars to drive, GPS units to give us directions, cell phones for protection and to find help, and most often to interrupt our lives. We have more technology in our kids’ toys than our grandparents had in their farming equipment. Yet we are still dealing with boredom, lack of creativity, and general frustration because of over-stimulation and workloads.
In the beginning of time when God created everything, he did it in six days and rested on the seventh. I think that he said, “I’ll have an iced tea and enjoy the creation I made”. Today we have modern technology, big fancy equipment, computers, the ability to work around the world with technology from the comfort of our own homes, and never have time to rest. We keep asking and wanting more and more time to get our tasks done. This morning as I sat on my chair in my garage reflecting on life and the pressures of life, I was reminded of how refreshing it is to sit and relax and thank God for the freedoms I have in Jesus Christ. So as you go to the fair and look at the things that remind us of yesteryear and a time to come, take a moment to think about what we have and all that we are able to do in the here and now. If technology and new equipment and new things create more busyness, then it’s not better. When I was a kid husking corn with my uncles there was always time to sit and have a cold drink and an ice cream bar and visit. I learned much about life in those early years sitting under the shade tree in grandpa’s yard and listening. No TV, no phone, no technology, just a lawn chair and a glass of root beer. The key to those moments was taking time with someone else and being present in the moment. Grandpa died when I was seven, but in those seven years I learned how to walk with someone dealing with a handicap (he was cripple from childhood). I learned how to accept people for who they are. I learned how to take time for those around you no matter what you were doing. I learned that people matter more than acquiring things. I learned that genuine love comes from the heart and the foundation of where love comes from is Jesus Christ.
Yes, the fair is almost over, and life continues, and we will reflect and dream, but what matters most is people. It’s why when Jesus was asked what the greatest command was, he said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as yourself”. All of the ten commandments are summed up in this passage. The first half deals with how we love God and the second half deals with how we love our neighbor.
I would also encourage you to come and be a part of the Saturday evening service that starts this week. Service starts at 6:00 p.m. and will be casual and contemporary. Children’s Church and Nursery Care available. Invite some friends to come with you!