I grew up working for my dad in concrete construction and many of our jobs were in the small towns and surrounding farming countryside. We would often eat our lunch in the work truck and listen to Paul Harvey's "The Rest of the Story" on the radio. You will recognize his distinct voice in the video below, made popular as a Super Bowl Commercial.
"So God Made a Farmer" was a speech given by radio broadcaster Paul Harvey at the Future Farmers of America convention in 1978. It has origins (or should I say roots) that were inspired by parts of “A definition of a dirt farmer” published in The Farmer-Stockman magazine back in 1940.
Farming is something that requires deep knowledge of the land, of creation; it requires faith and perseverance. It is a physical reality of how we can work as co-laborers in God’s loving and renewing mission. Farming involves a balanced relationship with our creator, creation and those who need His sustenance; everyone.
Wendell Berry, someone many of you may have heard of, was a farmer and writer who embodied what it meant for faith to be lived out as a farmer. In a collection called The Art of the Commonplace: Agrarian Essays, Berry wrote these words:
"We must learn to acknowledge that the creation is full of mystery; we will never entirely understand it. We must abandon arrogance and stand in awe. We must recover the sense of the majesty of creation, and the ability to be worshipful in its presence. For I do not doubt that it is only on the condition of humility and reverence before the world that our species will be able to remain in it."
So as we spend time in God's creation, no matter what we are doing, let us practice that act of being worshipful in God’s creation and each other’s presence. Maybe you have experienced a prayer walk or have practiced a spiritual discipline called Lectio Divina. Lectio Tierra is very similar to that, but instead of resting in Gods word, listening for his voice, we spend time in God’s natural revelation, His creation.
As you enjoy creation this summer, if it is camping, leisure, or practising Lectio Tierra, be aware of all your senses, notice the elements of creation that God is drawing your attention to and offer prayers of thanksgiving to God for His creation, His grace and His presence with us; knowing that we are His beloved children.