“Green Acres is the place to be. Farm living is the life for me!”
Everyone reading this may not remember the 1960’s TV show “Green Acres”, and it’s possible some others wish they didn’t remember it. (It’s still in re-runs over forty years later). It was a corny comedy about a New York lawyer and his wife who moved to a run-down farm. Oliver Wendell Douglas’ dream was to be a farmer. He wanted to do something productive with his hands and hard work.
The comedy came from Mr. Douglas’ trials and tribulations as he pursued that dream. At times, when others questioned why he didn’t give up, he launched into a speech about what it all means as “you plant the seeds in the ground, wait with anticipation, watch the plants shooting up to the sky (or “shoosting” as his Hungarian wife, Lisa, said), and water and care for them until you enjoy the harvest of your labor.” Oliver just wanted to nurture something and have it come to fruition.
I admit to having had varying levels of “Green Acres Syndrome” through much of my life (wanting to be a farmer, while not knowing much about it). At this point, though, I do know enough to realize it’s hard work, that sometimes pays and sometimes doesn’t. I’m thankful for my regular salary, having a small tractor to bush-hog our old pasture every now and then, and having a few raised beds in the garden to raise a “crop” or two.
While the “Mr. Douglas” plans have waned, I can say the basics of the syndrome remain. It’s still a thrill to go through the process of planting, waiting, watching, watering and feeding, and then enjoying your harvest. I’m thankful my wife, Sharon, still gets a kick out of seeing her nearly 60 year-old husband coming toward the house like a little kid to show her my handful of tomatoes or carrots. What a blessing as the nurturing comes to fruition!
I guess the purpose of nurturing anything is to have a positive effect – to help it mature. The Apostle Peter wrote of the process of nurturing our faith:
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV
The verses before these explain that while we work on this process, it’s God Who gives us His power and His promises that enable us. God is nurturing us through it. As our faith grows and blossoms (through His help) it matures into that greatest of all things – love. And we know that God gets a kick out of seeing His children show Him the fruits of their work – as we love Him and love one another. What a blessing when God’s nurturing comes to fruition!
His (God’s) delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. Psalms 147:10-11 ESV