Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Learn, Teach, Enjoy

"In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy."  
(William Blake)  

Make our sons in their prime like sturdy oak trees, Our daughters as shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers. Fill our barns with great harvest, fill our fields with huge flocks; Protect us from invasion and exile—eliminate the crime in our streets.  How blessed the people who have all this! How blessed the people who have God for God! (Psalm 144:12-15 MSG)

As I considered a prayer for our land this beginning of a new year, I came across this passage and could not overlook the significance of it as we consider the state of our land's governing officials, those making a living in our work places, and the many who struggle to find some meaning to life in our homes everywhere. A more meaningful prayer could not be prayed!

Make our sons in their prime like sturdy oak trees...
The oak tree is considered one of the very sturdiest of trees, growing to heights of 50 to 70 feet. Although it may not tower high, it has broad limbs, making an excellent place to find cover from the heat of the day. They adapt well to all manner of soil conditions, able to find root and flourish in even some of the harshest of conditions. They have long lives, probably because of the length of their "taproot". That very substantial taproot seeks out water, at whatever depth it needs to find that resource - producing larger number of acorns each year of its life once it is "of age" for fruit production. Can you see why I would want to pray this prayer for our sons? Sturdy, provision of cover for those in need, adapting well, able to take root and sustain that "rootage", producing fruit in increasing measure year after year!

Daughters shapely and bright as fields of wildflowers...
Filled with all manner of beauty, small or large, vibrant in all ways. Wildflowers may be considered "common" by some, but do you realize their extreme importance? They are what is referred to as "pollinators" - they attract those insects whose main purpose is to spread the various pollens from one plant to the next, thereby allowing for the production of great harvests and tremendous beauty! 

Fill our barns with great harvest...our fields with huge flocks...
Filled barns indicated not only "wealth" in times gone by, but they also ensured seed for the next year. There was a certain sense of satisfaction at the end of harvest, basking upon those filled barns, because you knew you'd be able to provide for those in your care, whether friend, family, or flock. Fields filled with huge numbers of sheep, goats, cattle, and livestock of all manner meant not only provision for the table, but also for the altar - for there was always the time of offering of the best of the flock back to the Lord. The eye of the farmer and herder alike was always on the lookout for that which would be offered back to God as a way of thanking and trusting him for the harvest.

Protect us...
From invasion and exile, ridding our streets of all manner of violence and insult. A crime is defined as any action or instance of negligence deemed injurious to the public welfare or morals or interests of those who inhabit our lands. Protection from God is the only way to really rid ourselves of this type of "invading force" - for there is nothing within man that can turn the tides of violence and grief caused by such things as hardened, sinful hearts.

Will you join with me in this prayer for our land? I think if we were all to begin to pray for each other this way, maybe we'd see the tide begin to turn! Just askin....