Contentment of Country Folks!

This time of the year, from early morning till late at night we hear the sound of farmers and farm workers working in their fields. Tractors are trundling past our gateway from 4.30 am, heading to the fields before the heat of the sun makes their work more difficult. Combine harvesters and crop -collectors drone on most of the day, while the field workers run behind the vehicles doing whatever is necessary to get the crops planted or the harvest in.
No offence to those who were born, brought up or live in cities, but don”t we all in some respect have a relationship with the countryside? Even those living in the city, love to take a trip away from the mundane and spend time enjoying the beauty of nature. Not that those who have the privilege of living in the country, don”t thoroughly enjoy a good day at the shops in the city, or a visit with friends to some city sights. But when one has time in the countryside, we are refreshed, relaxed and ready for anything. We feel closer to the Creator than before we went, which we can”t really say of going to buy new shoes or a dress!!
It has been said by Tom Keller a New York Presbyterian, that God”s future redeemed world is depicted as a “city.” He uses as his evidence the verse in Hebrews 11:10 which says, “Abraham sought the city, whose builder and maker was God.” He concludes, “We began in a garden, but will end in a city. God”s purpose for humanity is urban.”
Personally, I am not so sure about that, since before the Fall Eden was the perfect place for Man to live and be in complete and total harmony with land, self and God! The Fall, of course, destroyed the innocence and purity of that harmony, and so the happiness of the people, but in Salvation through Jesus, we see the world once again through new eyes!
When it came to creation of the earth, animals etc.. God made it all without any pre-existent matter. In other words, He made it all out of nothing! As romantic created beings, we have little problem in realizing that although God could have created Eve from nothing, He chose to use a rib from Adam, signifying the closeness and interconnectedness of these two humans in their relationship. From then on Adam would feel the responsibility to care for her as part of himself and she in turn to care for her family as one who belongs and is loved!
But, is it not also very significant to note that in the creation of man, God uses the dust of the earth to make Adam and breathed into Adam”s nostrils. Surely, this was showing not only man”s eternal connection with God, but also man”s connection with the earth. Indeed, the task given man in Eden was to “work it and take care of it.” Even after the Fall, Adam & Eve were to work the land, only this time it would be by the sweat of their brow, with all the problems and troubles that entails.
Some of those who farm in this area, have for a time been living outside the country for education or for work after the war. One close friend is an engineer and in Germany was earning a lot of money every month. He had a “good life”, but gave it up to return to take over the family farm a few years ago. He is amazed at how unstressed his life is now! He has much less money, especially in these hard times of crisis here in Greece, but he says the benefits to his health and his family”s life, far outweigh the sorrows. He reminds us often, that the satisfaction of growing and living from your own produce leaves him with a much greater feeling of success than he ever felt in his engineering firm.
I know, this is not and cannot be the case for everyone, but in some ways we all are inextricably connected with the soil we were created from and get great satisfaction from even looking at the beautiful sights we see around us. We do enjoy looking out over the patchwork quilt of color, which changes repeatedly through the entire year, as each crop is planted, grows and is harvested. As we look over the scene before us, or any other beautiful picture, we can do nothing less than worship the Creator who made it all, who provided the earth, the seed and the people to work them. The God who controls the weather, that we always have seedtime and harvest, food to eat and clothes to wear. That same God, sent His only Son to die for your redemption, that once again we can enjoy His Peace and Satisfaction through all Eternity!

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