Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hot Beds, Hypocrisy, and a Forehead Flick

It’s hot bed season. What used to be one of my least favorite seasons as a high schooler. Where I understood the reason, I greatly disliked having to leave right after church, change clothes and uncover the hot beds. Moving sandbags and rolling muddy, wet plastic was not what I wanted to do on Sunday before lunch. (Putting the plastic back is easier as long as there isn’t any wind. If it’s windy it’s like trying to “hold the waves upon the sand”).

Recently I’ve heard a lot of people talk about farming in nostalgic terms. Truthfully, living in the country and growing up on a farm is great! Nothing can beat the feeling of moist, freshly tilled soil between your bare toes. But I think the labor associated with farming is lost. There’s a reason so many people get off the farm, it’s a lot of work for questionable results. You never know if you’re going to have a good crop and good price or not. It’s been said, “Farming is the greatest gamble of all.”

 Think of it this, way, if you have a plant it needs to be taken care of; it needs sunlight and water and good nutrient rich soil.  Now a plant, like a child, doesn’t just need water and sunlight on a random, when I feel like it basis. If it doesn’t get what it needs, it dies. So you have to water it several times a week. If you decide to go on vacation you need to get someone to water that plant, otherwise it could die. Even when you take care of a plant, they don’t always make it.

 Now multiply that one plant by about 200 and you have the basics of farming. It doesn’t matter if it’s the weekend, the weathers crappy; you want to go on vacation or are sick, the plants still need to be taken care of. As the farmer, you have to take care of them; it’s in your best interest. (Shocking concept I know).
When hot bed season rolls around, Dad get’s understandably on edge. If you’re not careful, it’s really easy to burn a bed. There’s a fine balance between keeping the beds warm enough and letting the excess heat escape. (That’s why we open and close them). I am a farmer’s daughter that means if I can help Dad relax by opening hot beds I will; this is what I do, for better or worse, in sickness or health. And neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow, nor wind shall deter from doing what needs to be done.

Which is why, Sunday mid-morning found me sick and barefoot, in a white dress shirt and rolled up jeans, opening the ends of three rows of hot beds. Normally I rejoice at opening ends, because it’s easy; you only have to move one sand bag instead of 5 billion and roll a little plastic. I usually run from one end of the bed to the other enjoying the warm moist dirt. However when you’re not feeling well, a simple task can become an event rivaling Armageddon. 

My frustration grew and I, who had just served communion at church, found myself cursing as I wrestled with the uncooperative plastic and clothespins, telling it where it could go to get a warm reception. All while being as careful as possible to keep mud from splattering on my church clothes of course. The shirt came out ok, the pants; let’s just say Nicole keeping jeans clean is a lost cause…

Shortly after my outburst the humor of the situation hit me and I began to compose this, for others to enjoy the irony and hypocrisy of my life.

As I was driving home bits of a verse from James 3 popped into my head; “9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

It was a flick in between the eyes. I had recognized my hypocrisy, but instead of being dismayed I was amused. Strike 2. It was then a choice was offered, do nothing and take a third strike or step up to the plate, swing the bat and admit there’s actually a problem that needs to be fixed.

I don’t like to strike out, (even if I do it on a regular basis), so this entry is a confession; a confession of hypocrisy and a lack of humility. For when my sin was pointed out, I laughed and I didn’t regret it. Not the brightest way to respond to the all Powerful, very Creative God. For that I am sorry m’Lord. Your chastising should not be slighted and taken as a joke.
I skipped out of church before the sermon because I wasn’t feeling well, and wondered if I was missing out, or getting away with something. Guess I got one anyway.

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