Thought for the month – Provided by Roger Neal – Congregational Worship Leader
What a year this has been. Spring and summer have been and gone – did they happen at all? – and now we have a limited amount of freedom we are able to get out and about again to enjoy and appreciate – at a distance – the wonderful area in which we live. The weather for the most part remains warm and sunny, the fields are golden with crops and bursting with the colour of ripening vines.
So here you are, cruising through the vines, pleased to be out on the road again, muttering at groups of cyclists who seem to occupy the whole road and hoping they don’t understand English, rounding a bend and coming up behind the ponderous majesty of a grape picker. On closer inspection over the next ten to fifteen minutes you conclude that it is actually a convoy of two tractors with overflowing trailers as well as the grape picker. At this point the wonder of the harvest season begins to wear a bit thin. I wager that most people at this point do not start singing songs of everlasting praise to God for His generous provision, or blessing the farmers for the work that they do to put food on our plates!
So here is your challenge. If you get stuck on your travels behind a tractor or any other mysteriously shaped implement of the sod, (by which I mean, of course, the soil!) take it as an opportunity for reflection, for thanksgiving and for praise. Why? Because praising God should become a matter of habit and because we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the farmers who are often taken for granted by those who have become detached from the source of our food.
Climate change, population growth and more recently shortages caused by the covid crisis, mean that it is more difficult to produce enough food for the world’s needs. Global markets, political mismanagement and the power of global enterprise are putting countless family farms and local businesses at risk,
So, when you get stuck behind that grape picker, take a deep breath, smile and wave at the driver and ask for God’s blessing on his family and work. Reflect on our relationship with the land as the God given source of all our well-being and praise God from whom all blessings flow.