Farming Tokyo

I really hate saying that it’s been busy.  I’m coming to hate that word. But I will say that EVERYTHING stacked up this week.  All on top of each other like a leaning tower of pancakes.

Thankfully, I think I have just about conquered all of it and have been all the while munching on some very good words from the Lord.

One of them… and perhaps I should know this already… was a brief teaching from our cell group sector meeting on Sunday.  The leaders and potential leaders met to talk about building our ministry teams so that we could effectively outreach and grow.

One of the thoughts that came out of it was from Matthew 13, the Parable of the Sower.  The seed was scattered over various types of earth.  Some soil produced good fruit, some didn’t produce any at all, some produced very short term fruit and some of the seed was stolen by the birds.  All of it was sowed by the farmer.

Now what is a farmer’s job?  To produce crops of course.  But a big part of producing a good crop is tending to the soil of the field.  If a farmer is given a piece of land, he is expected to prepare the soil to receive the seeds– he doesn’t just buy a bag of seeds and go out throwing seeds carelessly.   Rather farmers are pretty meticulous and turning soil… and I’d imagine getting rocks and weeds out… making rows and being organized, that type of stuff.

The thought mentioned on Sunday was that it would be ridiculous for us to blame God for a bad crop– or no crop at all– if we haven’t first tended to the soil.  It is our job to cultivate that soil, plant seeds and wait for God to bring them to bloom.  Of course, it takes a while to see all your vegetables and fruit trees grow up.  But instead of randomly throwing seed into the air and hoping that you get soil, take the time to work the area that you’ve been given in order to produce the best fruit possible.

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16

I could just imagine myself standing in the foreground, looking out at an expanse of parched earth, but at the same time, knowing that with hard work, patience and perseverance (they go hand in hand, huh), seeing a lush dark rich soil producing the sweetest fruit and wholesome vegetables.

It’s gonna take cultivation, careful study of the layout of the ground we’ve been given, learning how to best care for this particular type of land, and working the ground so that it is ready to receive the seeds.  And as I change metaphors here, as the little seeds grow up into workers, the faster and more efficient this will become to work more and more of the land.

But, if I’m careless at the beginning, throwing seeds and hoping for a quick response, then the result will not be as good as it could have been.  And if patches of the good soil do yield fruit, it is easier to make sure you don’t lose the fruit to rogue rabbits or just a general lack of protection.

For my part, it makes me more determined to work the land with skill.  It gives me more desire for effective prayer… more desire for purposeful fasting, more desire to yield the best crop to the King.

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