‘To go down on our knees before the Creator God’
Long time ago a Tamil poet wrote these lines about the earth,
“The owner, called God, preferred the farmer as His worker.”
Is there any other profession that is as noble, inevitable, and philanthropic as that of farmers? Most of the other professions are created to lead a comfortable and worry-free life, but only farmers, labor to live. There so many noble and selfless professions we can point out, but today they are either institutionalized or forced to compete with one another for survival and profit making. Particularly, in India, most farmers remain poor, living without an appraisal in their lifestyle, merely surviving and living for others, despite their hard work. Indeed, their profession, need, and lifestyle means what God means in the words of Jesus, “the greatest among you will be your servant.”(Mat 23:11)
There so many things one can learn from farmers, for our Christian living, but some are prodigiously important. Their commitment to depend on unpredictability is inimitable to farmers. Unlike regular jobs, in farming, so many unplanned risks need to be taken and that is why it is so pivotal for farmers to have faith in God and nature. Their courage to face all the odds of adversities. Whatever their hardships or loss, farmers continue to work with the same undeterred strength and passion, year after year. And, the contentment to live with whatever life gives, is a divine nature of farmers. As I have ministered among the farming community, I can say for sure, that among many professionals, farmers are the most unlikely to complain and fret. This is because their professional intention is not to make profit and ensure security; rather, it is just their way of life.
The Bible repeatedly speaks about commitment, courage, and contentment as the way of Christian life. As we read. “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this.”(Psalm 37:5), “Be people of courage.”(1 Cor.16:13), and “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”(1 Tim 6:6-7). However, often we tend to separate our profession from our life or our family life or our faith, which makes it so convenient to justify what we do. This is a big concern, because, treating our profession, family, and faith separately, disowns the authority of God and the declaration that He is above all. For what we read in the Bible, the instructions and commands are not given separately, each for our family life, professional life, and spiritual life. Yet, if we do so, we are asking God to stay away or wait until we finish our business. That is what Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, "No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Why it is so important for us to celebrate with farmers, the festival of Harvest? It is not only to identify with this noble profession but to remember and affirm the fact that God is the creator and the owner, and we are just inhabitants of His creation. And so, we have the responsibility to take care of one another, share equally, and exist together. God created this world with beauty and majesty and gave us the responsibility to take care of it. It is only man’s greed, insecurity, and weakness that has turned us against one another.
Let us remember that God worked hard to create a peaceful world and now He continues to love and redeem us from this sinful world, which we have witnessed through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a test of our faithfulness, to see if in our life and work, we put God in everything, because everything belongs to Him, the Creator, God, our Father Almighty.
As the FCCI, we are celebrating the Harvest Festival to give thanks to God for His Creation, to commit our life to live for His purpose, and be courageous in whatever life brings, and be content in our heart. The Harvest festival is all about giving, not just things, because they are symbolic and helpful to others, but going down on our knees before our God and giving thanks for all that He has done for us and offer ourselves as an offering is imperative, so that God becomes the reason and the purpose of our life. Is there anything more precious to God than giving ourselves to God?
Our dear Creator God, we go down on our knees, offering ourselves, seeking your forgiveness for being so selfish and neglecting your presence in our life. Help us Lord that we may identify with all the farmers in giving thanks for all that you provide so abundantly and equally in our life. Lead us to commit our life in serving you, to have courage to face whatever may come our way, and to have contentment in worshiping you.