Paul Kaak taught at my Fuller class tonight. He shared some thoughts from Wendell Berry. Wendell Berry is the author of thirty-two books of essays, poetry and novels. He’s a farmer’s farmer, working a farm in Henry County, Kentucky since 1965. He is a former professor of English at the University of Kentucky and a past fellow of both the Guggenheim Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.
In addition, Eugene Peterson, author of The Message says everyone should read all of Berry’s material.
The following is from his “Prayers and Sayings of the Mad Farmer.” I think these thoughts speak at multiple levels of where we live — our lives, relationships, mission, ecology, social issues, etc. Read and muse.
“Don’t worry and fret about the crops. After you have done all you can for them, let them stand in the weather on their own.
“If the crop of any one year was all, a man would have to cut his throat every time it hailed.
“But the real products of any year’s work are the farmer’s mind and the cropland itself.
“If he raises a good crop at the cost of belittling himself and diminishing the ground, then he has gained nothing. He will have to begin all over the next spring, worse off than before.
“Let him receive the season’s increment into his mind. Let him work it into the soil.
“The finest growth that farmland can produce is a careful farmer.
“Make the human race a better head. Make the earth a better piece of ground.”
I love those last two lines. The goal of mission is to improve the “land” so that in the following generations, the land will be better and better. It’s about continual transformation, the participation of Jesus’ prayer, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.