Summertime, and the livin’ is easy

Published 12:37 pm Thursday, July 27, 2017

It has been hot lately. Real hot. Hot and humid. Several thunderstorms rattled the roofs lately.

A farmer friend of mine reminded me that those nighttime downpours are a “farmer’s rain.” It comes and refills the watering holes for livestock and irrigates the crops, all without causing you to miss working any daylight hours. How thoughtful.

I’ve known farmers of all kinds. Small family-feeding outfits and large harvesters. Some grow fresh produce, others raise resources for industry, some flowers, some trees for timber, others for landscaping. 

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Each one I have known has found joy in the good earth, even on the hottest day. An old farmer I knew would say, “All that hot sunshine sure makes you grateful for the shade of the trees when you reach the end of the row.” 

So many of us have a mentality of working from dawn till dusk. The farmers I have known also knew how important it was to pause. We need to catch our breath, to rehydrate, to stay oriented and not get lost in what we are doing. To that end, these farmers also found the most vital thing they would ever plant was themselves into the pew for worship each Sunday. 

It was central for them to thank God for the sun and the rain. They came to remember that what their field produced was not meant just for them. They were witness to those around them that for all our know-how there are still mysteries and wonders of this world that we have yet to understand. 

Let me encourage you to take a page from these farmers. Take time this week to notice the moments of sunshine and shade, and thank God for both. Take time to pause and straighten your work-bent back. Taste the good, cool, refreshing, life-giving water and thank God for it. Take time to feel in your every cell these dog-days of summer. Let the heat itself encourage you to slow down, and give thanks to God for the reminder. And take time this week to get together with one of our area congregations to pause, give thanks and share stories of faith. Let us remind each other that God sees us through every season in life.

Farmville United Methodist Church will gather Sunday at 10 a.m. to worship under the trees on Wilck’s Lake Island. You are welcome to join us and then share our covered-dish lunch. Be refreshed. 

Michael Kendall is lead pastor at Farmville United Methodist Church. His email address is