3. Earth

Parable of Earth

PART I

Before he plants, the Farmer tills his field.
This is one of many steps that must be
taken if he hopes for his land to yield
a good harvest. Imagine, though, that he

chose to delay the tilling and instead
lived each day for merriment. If pleasure
became his greatest aim: if meat and bread
were laid out for all his friends like treasure,

Then for a time laughter and song would fill
his house! But then when the leaves began to
turn colour, he would be faced with the chill
realization, “there’ll be no crop for you!”

Farmland that yields no crops will bring no mirth
Hard packed sun-baked dirt is of little worth

PART II

Hard packed, sun -baked dirt is of little worth
and so The Farmer uses blade to break
the ground before seeding. This way the earth
is made more receptive. He’ll also take

fertilizer and spread it on his land.
This process adds nutrients that his crop
will need. Does the soil ever demand
that the tilling and fertilizing stop?

If you have faced trials or trouble in
life, you are blessed! For these can be the hoe
and fertilizer that help you begin
to be soil in which good crops will grow

The Farmer understands that on his field,
soil quality will affect the yield.

PART III

Soil quality will affect the yield
that a farmer can expect from his land.
for untamed land to be turned into field,
he will have to do much hard work by hand

such as clearing rocks and trees, or burning
brambles and weeds before he will ever
plant any seeds. The process of turning
land from rugged to fruitful is never

easy. Likewise hard work is needed to
make a wise adult out of a child.
Discipline and counsel are needed through
childhood or the youth may remain wild

To give his future crops the greatest worth
The Farmer knows He must prepare the earth.

PART IV

The Farmer knows He must prepare the earth,
and He understands that this process is
an ongoing practice. The land is worth
only as much as the labour of His

hands. He must remain vigilant for weeds,
as these can quickly overtake a field.
These unwanted plants can choke out His seeds
and very quickly will destroy His yield.

And every spring, He must gather each stone
that winter’s frost has pushed up from below.
Though the labour is hard,He does not groan,
for His reward is seeing His crops grow

An abundant harvest will not be found
If rocks or thorns are left upon the ground

PART V

If rocks or thorns are left upon the ground
by those who have been hired to tend to
his field, the Farmer won’t keep them around
very long. Instead, He will look for new
farmhands who will care for the land. The crop
is, after all, the purpose of His field.
He will seek for workers who will not stop
striving to find ways to increase the yield
produced by the land. Labourers like these
are worth every penny that they are paid,
but woe to those who do not seek to please
the Farmer. They have cause to be afraid!

Without care taken to help the plants thrive
The crops that grow will struggle to survive.

PART VI

“The grass withers and the flowers fail, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

The crops that grow will struggle to survive
in those years when the sky seems hard as brass.
When rain is scarce, how can anything thrive?
All fades…withers…like the flowers and grass

But if you watch the Farmer, you will see
that he toils all day long, bringing pail
after pail of water from the stream. He
won’t willingly allow his crops to fail

Around his land, the earth is cracked and dry;
The Farmer’s fields, though, are fertile and green.
It’s when rain clouds don’t appear in the sky
that the Farmer’s work is most clearly seen

Though our lives often don’t go as we’d planned,
the Farmer won’t let things get out of hand.

PART VII

The Farmer won’t let things get it of hand
in any part of his business. Between
harvest and seeding, while snow hides the land,
it may seem that He’s nowhere to be seen,

but that is not the case. The Earth may sleep
beneath its wool blanket, but in His shop,
out of sight, the Farmer has tasks to keep
Him busy through the winter. He won’t stop

doing chores like mending harnesses or
resharpening ploughshares until the Spring’s
warm dawn pulls back the covers, and once more
He’ll work His land as He joyfully sings!

Even before the warmer months arrive
Hard work is needed for a crop to thrive

PART VIII

Hard work is needed for a crop to thrive,
and this labour does not instantly yield
results. It would be wrong, though, to arrive
at the conclusion: “toiling in this field
has no value.” Ask The Farmer who’s gone
through this process year after year. He’ll say
to you, “wait a week, then look once more on
this piece of earth. It won’t stay like today,
and in a few months you’ll see golden grain
where now you can only see the soil.
Wait for the results of the sun and rain
then enjoy the results of your toil.”
Although sometimes it may seem oh so slow
Those seeds that fall on fertile land will grow!

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