The land of a mountain farm is often split between fertile fields around the homestead itself and open rugged terrain at higher elevations. It is often an on-going farming challenge to maintain the uppermost fields adjacent to the open mountainside in a condition suitable for cultivation because of the continual ravages of wind and rain. Decades ago, before the advent of sophisticated machinery, a farmer had been toiling for days on the farm’s isolated uppermost field to cut open a trench so as to lay pipes that would help drain the almost habitually water-logged field. Unobserved he had worked diligently and had opened a trench that formed a direct line and sloped uniformly from the top to the bottom of the field.
A hardy walker out enjoying the fresh air on the mountain looked down and admired this masterpiece of trench cutting. He sauntered down and inquired of the farmer
“Why bother to cut such a well-engineered trench because, apart from a rare passerby like me, no one will see it and moreover you will soon cover it up after laying the pipes?”
The farmer explained patiently that,
“The straight line and uniform downward slope of the trench would ensure effective trouble-free drainage for years as it would lessen the danger of silting.”
He then added casually,
“Besides the only person that really matters was always inspecting my work”.
Intrigued the walker asked what on earth did the farmer mean by such a seemingly outrageous statement. The farmer’s answer was pithy and to the point. He informed the walker that his normal practice was to follow the guideline:
Whatever you do, work heartily, working for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.- Colossians 3:24
This response of the farmer is both touching and telling. It is touching because it shows clearly that this individual’s mindset was one of living for, and rejoicing in, the Lord Jesus Christ. Not for him the praise of mere men. It is telling because it reminds Christians that their life is lived moment-by-moment under the caring eye of “The Good Shepherd”.
Next Sunday morning’s worship service at IBCZ will be an opportunity for believers and non-believers alike to reflect upon our individual mindsets, and to be assured of His caring oversight of us. Join us at 10:30.