“Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek The Lord until He comes to rain righteousness on you” (Hosea 10:12 NASB).
In Shelby County there is a wonderful farm called Gallrein’s. The corn there is outstanding! When the folks at Gallrein’s plant their corn, they do not wait for city folks to call them and ask them to be sure to plow and plant this year. Rather, the folks at Gallrein’s see the fields, they envision the harvest, and they break up fallow ground. Gallrein’s plants with the harvest in mind. They reap in accordance to what seed and how much of it they have sown. While weather is certainly a factor in the harvest, the most important factor is plowing the fields and planting the seeds.
I am a city kid through and through. What little I know about farming has come from reading and observation. But since I like to eat, learning a little about farming and showing appreciation to those who farm is a good thing. In addition, because so many illustrations in the Bible center around planting and reaping, understanding the process is also vital to understanding Scripture.
Fallow ground is unused ground. It may be usable with attention, but it will take work to prepare the ground for planting. To get a crop to grow, the farmer must break up the soil and prepare it for receiving seed. When the farmer plows and then plants, the farmer has a vision of the crop to come. In the passage, Hosea said to sow “with a view to righteousness.” We are to sow the gospel with a view to spiritual harvest.
I want to issue a challenge: Don’t wait to be asked to participate in missions. Don’t wait to be asked to “break up fallow ground” of missions and people’s lives. Too many people are waiting to be asked to participate. We need to realize that when a missions opportunity is placed before us, this is God’s invitation to join in what He is doing.
This weekend I spent time with Kentucky Changers. I had had delivered some of the supplies and decided to stay. I did not have a job to do and did not have to be there. But I decided to stay and spend time talking to the volunteers, participants, and youth leaders as they were arriving. In farming terms, I was breaking up fallow ground for new relationships. Many participants in Kentucky Changers are not familiar with WMU and all that we offer to engage students in the mission of God. Time spent with these leaders is an opportunity to introduce them to WMU, to build relationships, and lay the foundation for future opportunities.
In missions, an opportunity to help in a specific way often comes when we have simply shown up, not knowing what we would do. My moment came on Saturday when Elaine Koch was not feeling well and someone was needed to hand out the t-shirts. Marilyn Creighton of Tates Creek Baptist Church had also just stopped by to help for the day. Together we got the job done and visited with youth leaders and Changers volunteers. Marilyn also took some wonderful pictures.
Don’t wait to be asked. Volunteer. Show up. Look at the “fallow ground” around you. Start “plowing.” Plant seeds with a vision for the harvest.