Thursday, July 10, 2008

Livelihood ...

In my Mid-Week Bible Study with adults I took them to a couple of New Testament passage on the harvest. The harvest representing people, reaching people for Christ and seeing them begin a personal relationship with Christ. In Matthew 9:35-38 and John 4:35 Jesus specifically is calling people to see the harvest and work in the harvest. We then looked at farmers and their harvest. Both of my grandparents, 2 uncles and a cousin were all farmers, which gave me a close up look at things from the farmer's perspective. Also, I have had several farmers in my congregations through the years.

For a farmer, the harvest is everything. All of the work, planning and hopes are connected to the harvest. Some years the literal survival of the farm is dependent on that year's harvest. The exception to this rule are the "hobby farmers". Those who make their living at something else but still farmer "on the side". These people want a harvest but their livelihood is not dependent on the harvest, because they make their living doing something else. It seems to me that a number of Christians and churches have become hobbyists about the harvest. There are "hobby churches" and "hobby Christians". In other words they would like to have a harvest but they do not consider it their livelihood. Whether something is your livelihood or your hobby will greatly impact how you work at something. A hobby is nice and I look forward to it, but if difficulties arise I put it aside or drop it all together. My livelihood on the other hand I can't, and wouldn't consider laying aside.

Which group would you be in regarding the harvest, a "hobbyist" or a farmer? Is reaching the harvest your livelihood spiritually speaking? Have you made decisions more like a "hobbyist" or a farmer"?

Here's praying that more of us will be like the farmers, where we realize it is our spiritual livelihood.


At 9:25 PM, Blogger Tim Morris said...

Your blog got me to thinking about crops. Different regions plant different things. Indiana is corn and beans, down south it is tobacco. not many rice patties in Indiana.
(this is your fault my mind has rambled this way)
While we individually need to be open, most of us farmers have a specialty crop we are interested in. What gets you excited may not interest me at all.
Not only are we to be good farmers, we should know what we like to grow.


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