Friday, May 22, 2015

Fire the Farmer

Poked…prodded…whacked… by the end of a herder’s stick.  Recently I was in India and observed cattle and goats being herded, driven by the farmer with a stick.  Ever felt that way?  I admit I have.  I have felt driven, hurried to the next thing- no time to relax, to enjoy the now-moment.  How frustrating not to be able to slow my footsteps; not to be able to breathe deeply because the farmer in my head, driving me to the next thing.

So who is that “farmer”?  Why do I allow “him” to drive me?

I think the farmer is the lies, the assumptions, and expectations that line up in my head like a firing squad, “do it now or die”.

So why do I allow myself to be driven?  Fear has a lot to do with it.  I’m afraid I’ll miss out on something; that something better is ahead, have to hurry to get there.  I fear that time is short and I won’t get everything done that I want to.   I have to hurry to achieve some unrealistic expectation.  I fear I will fall short when compared to ______ (you fill in the blank).  After all, they are accomplishing so much!

So…. What if I don’t get to experience everything I want to?  So… what if something is left undone or incomplete?  Will it really matter in the end?  The “so… what ifs” chide me and even though I know the truth, it’s hard to let go.  Ideas and kernels of ideas jitterbug around in my head, demanding to be realized NOW.  But wait, just because things get accomplished or just because they never get realized, doesn’t define me as a success or a failure.

I am slowly but surely learning that it is better to live fully in the present- loving the moments of the “now” rather than peering toward the next “now” with longing… missing the precious treasure of “now”.

I need to slow my steps a bit or the next “now” won’t even be enjoyed.  Of course being driven by that inner farmer has some merit when faced with looming deadlines.  But knowing when to quit, when to change; knowing when to slow my steps and take a walk is at best difficult when you’ve been giving the farmer free reign. 

 My Father is knocking on my heart’s door and I don’t want to miss it.  It’s a soft knock and I do want to hear it; I want to be quiet enough to hear His invitation to rest and eat with Him (Rev. 3:20).  He wants to eat with ME, feed me the daily food needed to sustain me.  If I’m too much in a rush, to driven, indigestion results and I miss the sweet time we could enjoy together.  He knows the food I’ll need to keep me going during the day.  I want to hear to hear the knock, I want to answer and I want to hear what He would say to me.  I cannot command Him to come my way; He chooses to come and speak.  My part is just to be slow enough…. quiet enough to listen.

Slow down!  What can be more important than savoring the “now” moment?  Enjoy its treasures and I am sure it will make the next “now” even sweeter.


Slow your hurried steps
the Father has come knocking
listen… and open
He wants to share a “meal” with you
He wants you to breathe and rest
    -margaret slabach