Discipleship of Farming: Tractors Get the Job Done
How are you doing today? Are you getting ready to go trick-or-treating?! Do you have your costume picked out? Do you have your candy collection device ready to go? Do you know where you are going to go to receive piles and piles of your favorite candy and sweet treats? When I was your age, my dad took me trick-or-treating to a neighborhood near my house, and I remember that there were two houses in particular that every kid needed to go to: one house handed out full-size candy bars and the other house handed out hotdogs and chips…that’s the one my dad loved to go to! Anyway, I hope you are getting ready to enjoy Halloween! And please remember to be safe, travel with a parent or friend, and only go those houses that have their lights on.
Today, we are going to talk about TRACTORS! Have any of you ever seen a tractor? Tractors come in many sizes and shapes and certainly different colors. Some are designed and built to do many things while others are designed and built to do a few things. Some pull wagons. Some plow the field. Some plant the seed. Some harvest beans, corn, wheat, and other products. Some do a lot of work while others sit in the barn collecting dust. And some are old and some are new. No matter what kind of tractor you have seen, no matter what kind of tractor you may own, and no matter what color the tractor is, every tractor is built with a purpose to get the job done. In the words of Blippi, an online child entertainer, “Tractors, Oh tractors, they are so much fun. Tractors, Oh tractors, they get the job done.” But what do tractors teach us about Jesus?
Unless you live in the country, you may not have had a chance to see farmers working in their fields. (Just a few days ago, I watched the farmers harvest the field right next to my house!) Before farmers can plant seeds, the earth must be prepared to receive the seeds. This is done by plowing the fields. A plow is a piece of farm equipment that is pulled behind a tractor, has a sharp blade, slices into the earth, and turns the weeds and sod under–meaning the fresh dirt of the earth is dug up and made new. The line in the soil that is made by a plow is called a furrow.
Years ago, before there were tractors, farmers used horses to pull their plows. The farmer held long reins and walked behind the horse and the plow. In some parts of the world farmers still use horses to pull their plows and there are even plowing contests to see who can do the best job of plowing. The furrows they make must be neat and straight. But today, most of the plowing is done by tractors. Whether plowing by horse or by tractor, plowing needs to be done so that the farmer can plant and receive a bountiful harvest.
Did you know that Jesus talks about plowing in the Bible. In the Gospel of Luke–who is known as physician–Jesus tells people that anyone who puts a hand to the plow must not look back (Luke 9:51-62). In a way, Jesus is reminding us of that famous song that says, “The world behind me, the cross before. The world behind me, the cross before me. The world behind me, the cross before me. No turning back, no turning back.” He uses this as a lesson to teach us how to live a good, productive Christian life: we must be willing to see the work before us and not be so concerned or worried about what is behind us.
Can you imagine what would happen if you were trying to plow a field and you kept looking back? What would the field look like if you were plowing that way? I don’t think you would have neat, straight furrows. I bet we would have furrows that look like a wavy or wiggly line, some of the furrows would cross over each other, and some furrows may even not be plowed in a way that is good enough to receive the seed. This would be very difficult for the crop to be harvested in the Fall.
In our lives, just as with plowing, we need to look ahead and stay focused on what we are doing. Our goal is to follow Jesus in the best way we can. He offers us forgiveness so we can go on with our lives and not be looking back, worrying about what has happened in the past. Jesus says, “Follow me!” (9:59). We need to take ahold of the plow and walk forward toward Jesus.
“Tractors, Oh tractors they are so much fun. Tractors, Oh tractors, they get the job done.” Tractors, similar to plows, get the job done but they can’t get the job done if we operate them by looking backward. Every tractor and every plow needs us to look forward so that they will be able to do the work that Jesus needs them to do. Remember to keep looking forward and to trust in the works of Jesus.
Your Friend, Holy Spirit!
Children’s Message is borrowed from https://sermonwriter.com/childrens-sermons/look-ahead and written by Lois Parker Edstrom. I have added my own words to this message.
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