In Canada, we are privileged every April to watch for the many signs of new life around us. Those little green shoots that pop through the last of the snow in our flower beds give hope to our winter-weary hearts.
Many Canadians resent the winter season, but I love the challenge that having four distinct seasons brings with them. The season of spring offers us the gift of rejoicing because Easter arrives in spring. We have weathered through the Lenten journey; some successfully and some, not so pleased with the effort but trusting that God understands our circumstances and forgives our failings. There is always another Lent next year, and we can try just a little harder to honour the example that Jesus provided.
I travel a lot by train and love to watch the new buds forming on the trees, and the fields being prepared for the seed that will soon be sown. From my train window, I always say a prayer for farmers, especially the family farms that have provided a living through several generations. We should all thank God for farmers; too often they are taken for granted that the foods they provide will always be available at our neighbourhood grocery store.
Cows need to be milked every day; no holidays for them. That effort made by dedicated farm families should be celebrated and never taken for granted. We seem to be a society that makes a weekly trip to the supermarket and fills our buggy without realizing how the eggs got into those cartons or the milk arrived on the shelves. It took a farmer to provide them to the store.
I once met a farmer who had six sons and four daughters. I asked him if any of his children were interested in continuing to work the farm. The response he gave to me saddened his heart and mine:
“Oh, they are all away, working in the city, and our last son at home is not much interested in keeping the farm going.”
Of course, many of today’s young people are not interested in often having to work 12 hour days, the lack of financial security, and the commitment required to work a seven day week.
As the pussywillows appear along the roads, and the sun grows warmer, let us all take a moment and thank God for farmers. Perhaps a trip to the countryside with some youngsters could encourage a few of them to think of farming as the honourable profession that it is.
We might even inspire a few of them to think of the valuable service that farming provides, and consider accepting the responsibility that becoming a farmer requires. A farmer is a self-employed business man whose life is varied, interesting and independent.
I am certain that God has golden rocking chairs in heaven for farmers and their wives. He will reward them for their long hours of labour, and their acceptance of His call to feed His children.
Let us add a prayer of thanksgiving this spring for farmers who collaborate with God to provide us with the nourishment we require to continue our journey through life.