This morning I turned the page of the calendar on my wall.
Then I took a walk to Field 12.
It’s a fallow paddock in the back corner of the farm. There I stood and gazed over the barren rectangle of soil, and it looked just like that calendar page: all blank and waiting to be filled.
And I wondered.
There are these boundaries that You give us. Fences and fields and months and days.
And nothing we can do will alter those borders.
Oh, but the crop!
We are farmers in Your image and we can choose which seeds to plant.
And as my Man of the Soil ponders which variety will yield, and what timing is right, even as he looks forward into an uncertain season…so I kneel here in the empty dirt and ponder the choices I have.
To sow fear or faith, hope or despair, courage and kindness or bitter recoil.
I look up at a dry sky and feel a parching wind on my skin.
And I decide.
I know what I want to harvest when the seasons have their turn.
Because I will return to this field and I will reap what I have sown and so I bend down with my knees in the dust and I feel the earth beneath my fingers as I dig.
And I plant my will.
I let it die and I bury it deep and I cover it with the dark earth.
I will wait.
I will trust it to the magic of the soil and rain and sun.
It will sprout here in the square plot of December.
Hope will soon push its green shoots up and into the glorious air.
Because a calendar is a field and my will is a seed and it must die to be reborn – and when that happens, it will yield a hundredfold.
Glory be to the Farmer who tills the soil of this horizoned month.
I will watch for the tender stems and leaves to shake the black earth from their tips. But while I walk here – and while I wait – I will trust the invisible work underground.
As I walked home I passed a field where the harvest is underway.
I give thanks for what has been.
As well as for what is to come.
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
…Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
…for you I wait all the day long.