“I need four volunteers to leave this hopeless unemployment line and come with me,”
announced the biggest farmer in the county.
The first four to reach the farmer’s side were Tony, Dan, Rick, and Steve. “It seems to
me, since you were willing to give up your place in line, perhaps you might be willing to help
better yourself. Follow me.”
The farmer took the four men to his huge farm, gave them a tour, then let each man
pick the ground they would like to work. He gave them seed and every thing they
needed to reap a harvest.
Tony didn’t know much about farming. But he knew the soil somehow made grain
grow, so he took corn and threw a little here and there over his field. Satisfied he took
the remaining grain home to his wife for cooking.
When Tony checked his field a couple of weeks later, there were no sprouts anywhere.
“I don’t understand!” He didn’t know the birds had eaten all the grain because it hadn’t
been buried deep enough. “It’s a good thing I didn’t sow much of the seed. We still
have an abundance to eat. When it’s gone, then I’ll worry.”
Dan was excited to try farming. He began to plow his field, then realized he’d picked a
field full of rocks and old tree roots. He started to remove stones, one at a time. He
soon tired of the backbreaking work, and resolved to ignore the fieldstones. “Those
roots can just find their way around those rocks,” he decided. He planted the seed as
best he could.
He checked his field daily and proudly watched the first sprouts raising from the earth.
His mouth watered at the thought of fresh corn and grain. But after a few weeks the
seedlings began looking sickly. The leaves turned yellow and limp. The stems dried up
and fell over.
“What happened? My plants are dead! All I have is trouble. First the rocks and roots,
now my seedlings dried up. An abundance of trouble is always my lot.”
Rick was excited to begin his planting. “I don’t have time to waste preparing the
ground, I’ve got things to do. I think I’ll try that new no-till planting method. That’ll hurry
things along.” So without any soil preparation Rick planted all his seed. He checked
his field often and soon found he could not tell what was seedlings and what was
weeds. “Oh well, the corn will soon tower above all these weeds.”
Rick was able to find other employment also. He hoped to make enough from both job
and field that he could properly care for his family. With the expected windfall he
bought his family a bigger house. Long work hours and improving the new house kept
him busy and he skipped going to the field for a while. When he returned no corn or
grain plants were seen anywhere. Only weeds. “I’ve worked so hard, I’ve been so
busy. How could this happen? I’m drowning here taking care of everyone’s needs and
wants. Now what am I going to do? How can I pay for the house? Worries... I only
have an abundance of worries.”
Steve looked over his field with pleasure. He was thankful for the farmer and his gift.
Thankful for the chance to change his life. With excitement he studied farming until
understanding came, then made his plans. He prepared his soil by removing all rocks
and roots. He plowed the ground, turning under the weeds. He harrowed the earth,
leveling it and making the soil fine. He fertilized the land, and he planted the seed in
straight rows, evenly spaced. He prayed for rain and thanked God for the harvest he
His field of corn and grains germinated and flourished as the plants lapped up sun and
water. Every day he took care to keep the weeds out of the plants, exterminated
insects, examined the soil, and enriched it when needed. He delighted in the succulent
growth of his field.
In due time he harvested one hundred times the grain the farmer had given him. He
took a tenth and gave it to the farmer. He took another tenth and gave to the needy.
He set aside another tenth for planting next year. And he left the corners of the fields
for the poor to glean. “I am so blessed,” he prayed. “I had nothing, but now I have an
abundant life. Thank You, Father.”
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