Perspective is an interesting thing. Some people have it and some people don't. Those that have it might not even realize that they do. And those that don't might think they have it all figured out. Most of us don't have it all the time; sometimes it just takes a moment to help us achieve it.
It's been an interesting spring on the farm. We've been wet. I haven't seen some of our fields this wet...ever. And as we've been struggling to get into fields, I've got friends and fellow farmers that are praying for rain. All of North Dakota is currently listed on the US Drought Monitor as being "abnormally dry" with areas of central and southern North Dakota in a "moderate drought." Is a wet field so bad when a family in central North Dakota is having to ship cattle off farm because their pastures are too dry to produce decent grass? Is a muddy field so bad when my college buddy is planting into dry dirt? No. And farmers in my area should thank their lucky stars to have such moisture....and should pray for the farmers that are asking the Lord for rain. As I told my brother late last week, I'm sure there will be many prayers for rain in our lifetime. Sometimes it's hard to keep perspective when we are operating in our little bubble - entirely focused on getting the crop in the ground.
But then there are moments like this: It was Memorial Day weekend and we were slowly making progress seeding soybeans and pinto beans. Fortunately, it was sprinkling that Monday morning so I gave the guys the day off...and encouraged them to go to the Memorial Day program in Aneta. But that rain also gave me concern for delayed planting and poor field conditions. As I walked up the steps into the auditorium for the program that morning, I was focused on my concerns and not the point of Memorial Day. When I walked through the door, my arm was grabbed by a woman standing in the entry waiting for me. She said, "My daughter wants you and Elizabeth to sing 'I Have Decided to Follow Jesus' at her funeral." Her eyes filled with tears and so did mine as we hugged each other on the steps of the auditorium. Instantly, my field conditions weren't so bad. My problems and concerns seemed so small....I felt guilty.
Today, Elizabeth and I sang at the funeral. What a wonderful service it was. It helped us celebrate a life and a woman's inspiring relationship with Jesus. That's the important stuff. It gave us something to work toward. And that can make all the difference.
We are nearly done planting. We have good sub-soil moisture. Every one was safe this spring. And we wish the same for every other farmer.