I grew up in Northwest Iowa. In my hometown, farming isn’t just a job or an occupation; it’s a way of life. My family was not a farming family. We were townies. But I knew a lot of farmers, and they always seemed to be working.
For many of you, farming may be a very foreign concept. You think “How hard can it be? Plant a few seeds. Water them a bit. Pick up the harvest.”
Practically takes care of itself, right? Wrong.
Farmers have a certain work mentality to them. They know that when harvest comes, there is no room for messing around. They have a specific time frame to work with. They have to get it right, or they are screwed.
The Bible Gets It
The Bible uses farming terms all of the time. It talks about sowing and reaping. It refers to the harvest and fruits of labor. The writers of the Bible did this because they understood farming was hard work. In the same way, living a worthy life is hard. Doing what you are supposed to be doing is hard. Loving people is hard.
Ask any farmer and they will say sometimes farming really sucks. In the same way, sometimes doing what you are supposed to be doing really sucks.
Taking an Opportunity
Recently, a friend of mine offered me a great opportunity. Basically, he is starting a website and wanted me to write for it. Best news ever, right!? Well, yes, but there was a catch. When I first started brainstorming and thinking about it, I thought it would be such a breeze. I mean, I already write for my own website.
I would just pump out an article or two a week and call it good. Just like the person who thinks farming takes care of itself, I was horribly misguided.
I forgot that work actually takes work. I had to plan, strategize. I had to figure out where I was going with this whole thing. I had to accept the fact that this was something completely different from my current blog here.
Initially, I freaked out. I wondered if I promised something I couldn’t deliver. The harvest was coming and I wasn’t sure I had anything planted.
So what did I do? I took a step back and started over. I put forth the actual planning and effort required to get the job done. I stopped taking the project for granted and realized I was going to have to step up to a challenge.
What are You Working on?
Have you ever started something only to become discouraged by its difficulty? Did you underestimate the work necessary to see it through? That’s fine. It happens to the best of us. It’s only a problem if you let it stop you.
It can be easy to give in, to think that it was stupid for trying in the first place. It’s not. It’s stupid to give up right after you start. Maybe you won’t succeed right away. Maybe the “harvest” will come and you won’t have much to show. At least you tried. At least you learned something.
Every farmer has bad seasons. Sometimes the weather ruins things or the market is bad or they planted too much of the wrong crop and not enough of another. They don’t let that stop them. That simply pushes them to do better the next season.
So if you are sitting around in self-defeat, stop it. Get back out there on the plow and see what you can make happen. You might just surprise yourself.