I’ll be digging in the garden this week. So my mind has turned of late to agriculture. Here are a few of my favorite quotes on the subject:
“The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” — John F. Kennedy
“Italians come to ruin most generally in three ways, women, gambling, and farming. My family chose the slowest one.” — Pope John XXIII
“Life on a farm is a school of patience; you can’t hurry the crops or make an ox in two days.” — Henri Alain
“Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” — Dwight Eisenhower
“There are three easy ways of losing money – racing is the quickest, women the most pleasant, and farming the most certain.” — Lord Amherst
“Farmers only worry during the growing season, but towns people worry all the time.” — Edgar Watson Howe
“There are only three things that can kill a farmer: lightning, rolling over in a tractor, and old age.” — Bill Bryson
And one more:
“For as the soil makes the sprout come up
and a garden causes seeds to grow,
so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise
spring up before all nations.” — Isaiah 61:11
A few thoughts:
- The nation of Israel was to be on display to all the nations of the world as a people of righteousness and praise. The church today serves the same function: to be an expression of right relationship with God to all other cultures and communities.
- We tend to think of Christianity first and foremost as an individual and private endeavor. Biblical writers seem to look first (and most often) at the larger, more communal picture. Our view seems to stem from plain old human selfishness tainted by American individualism.
- Another product of our American individualism is the idea that we possess within ourselves the power to accomplish all things. In this text, though, we learn it is God’s responsibility to bring righteousness and praise in his church. He grows them in us much as vegetables grow in a garden.