I’ve been doing some farming—only a few acres here and there, harrowing or ripping—but it’s enough to give me a huge appreciation for full-time farmers who drive tractors and work hundreds or thousands of acres! It’s not as easy as it looks; the “cockpit” is full of all kinds of gauges, gears, and levers, the understanding of which is crucial to safe and smooth operation of all attached implements. (I’m not there yet, believe me! Not enough flight hours, so to speak.)
For me, one of the hardest things about farming is keeping the tractor on a straight course which is exactly parallel to your other (hopefully) straight paths. Now, I didn’t pay much attention in 8th grade geometry, but I do remember that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But unlike highways, fields don’t have yellow and white painted lines that keep drivers from wandering. In fact, fields often have contours, furrows, corrugations, or seeding lines that lure the operator off track.
Newer tractors are outfitted with GPS systems that steer the John Deere on a path that would make Euclid envious. Our Deere is neither new nor globally positioned, so I rely on LPS (Landmark Positioning System) instead. I pick out a distant tree, clump of weeds, or fence post which looks like the best focal point, and if I discipline myself to keep my eyes fixed on it, I’ll keep the ship sailing relatively straight. But if I let my eyes drift beside or behind me, looking at the ground I’ve already covered, then the vessel will soon be drifting off course!
“…I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me…. I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.”