I have been away from this blog for quite some time, a new baby will do that to you. But here are some valuable thoughts that came from my pastor, which I believe apply very aptly to agricultural lives as well as city living.
For those non-church-goers, many folks are participating in the 40 days before Easter, known as Lent. Pastor Kitagawa said: First, Lent is a season to listen for and hear the still, small voice of God (I Kings 19: 12) in the wilderness of our lives—the voice that cannot be found in the metaphorical wind, earthquake, or fire of our lives.
There is so much to be learned in the act of listening - something that is very hard to do in an electronic technological and fast paced life that many of us are living. Recently we stayed out at the ranch cabin (a TINY not-quite primitive, but there was an outhouse...) and it's so wonderful how being away from wireless internet, computers, etc., is. Since we didn't have the facilities to shower the kiddos, after eating dinner we got settled in for an early night, after enjoying a glorious sunset and putting away the chickens. (See my previous post about listening to the sounds of the animals at night - it is quite possibly my most favorite thing EVER--chickens cooing and settling down as they preen and discuss who is encroaching on their perch)
Well back to the subject of Lent - in the time before Easter, many churches exhort folks to 'give up' something they enjoy to remember sacrificing. My pastor provided us with a different type of fast:
Fast from judging others, Feast on Christ dwelling in them
Fast from apparent darkness, Feast on the reality of all light
Fast from discontent, Feast on gratitude
Fast from worry, Feast on God's providence
In farming and ranching, there is the living example of these principles. I think that for me seeing the good in things, being grateful for the blessings which we enjoy, understanding that there are reasons for the way things happen, though we may not see them as reasonable.
I'm going to get back to this blog and post more!