He handed me the keys to a 4 x 4 truck, a dually, towing a propane tank. I was 14.
So there I was, an unlicensed driver, with no experience, driving a truck pulling a large propane tank. Uh Huh, sure.
It was a summer job. He was a deacon at church and needed help around his farm. I had never worked on a farm largely because I had never been on one.
He had several large fields and various properties. My job was to drive to them and do weed control. When he offered the job he asked, “Rick, you can you drive a truck can’t you?” I replied, “Yes sir, I can drive a truck”
- Go to each place and park the truck
- Open the handle on top of the propane tank
- Use the striker to light the torch
- Torch the weeds as far as the hose allowed
- Move the truck and repeat the process
The First Incident
He told me to stay on the “path” that bordered the fields on each side. I was in the fields to kill the weeds growing around the fence posts. His warning, “Rick, don’t get off the path or you’ll get stuck in the field.” Guess what happened? That was the 1st incident and he wasn’t happy.
The Second Incident
I’ll avoid explaining how it happened and just say that I burned down several cotton trailers and damaged some others. The good news was that the 2nd incident overshadowed the 1st one. He totally forgot that I stuck the truck in the field.
It was my final day on the farm.
Jesus talked about farming. Northern Palestine was fertile and good for growing wheat, barley, grapes, figs, and olives. He told a parable about a farmer who went to sow his field. He did it by using a sack tied around his neck that he held with one hand while casting the seed with the other.
The parable illustrated…
- Seed on a hard path won’t grow, can’t get through the packed soil.
- Seed on soil with lots of rocks will root but not deeply, roots can’t grow.
- Seed on weedy – thorny soil will grow but not well, too much competition.
- Seed on clean and fertile soil will grow and grow well.
His wasn’t criticizing farmers but illustrating how people are like the soils. Some have hard hearts and the Word can’t penetrate. Some have rocky hearts and the Word won’t last due to shallow roots. Others are like the weedy/thorny soil, the Word roots and grows, but won’t mature since there is so much competition. But some have soft, fertile and open hearts so the Word roots, grows and becomes fruitful. That’s the good stuff.
His point to each person standing there:
How do you listen to my Word; what kind of heart do you have?