Sunday, November 22, 2015

The "Plowed" Life

From a farmer's perspective, there are two kinds of ground: fallow ground and ground that has been broken up by the plow. Both yield very different things. The same thinking can be applied to the acquired "fields" of our lives (either fertile or infertile) ... yielding very different produce depending on how open and receptive we are to the One who plows, and the choice of our reactions to what we may encounter in our unfolding experience of it. Throw down the protecting fences.
"The fallow field is smug, contented, protected from the shock of the plow and the agitation of the harrow. Such a field, as it lies year after year, becomes a familiar landmark to the crow and the blue jay ... safe and undisturbed, it sprawls lazily in the sunshine, the picture of sleepy contentment ... fruit it can never know because it is afraid of the plow and the harrow. 
In direct opposite to this, the cultivated field has yielded itself to the adventure of living. The protecting fence has opened to admit the plow, and the plow has come as plows always come: practical, cruel, business-like, and in a hurry. Peace has been shattered by the shouting farmer and the rattle of machinery. The field . . . has been upset, turned over, bruised, and broken, but its rewards come hard upon its labors. The seed shoots up into the daylight, its miracle of life, curious, exploring the new world above it. Nature’s wonders follow the plow.
There are two kinds of lives also: the fallow and the plowed. The man of fallow life is contented with himself and the fruit he once bore. He does not want to be disturbed. He smiles in silent superiority at revivals, fastings, self-searchings, and all the travail of fruit bearing and the anguish of advance. The spirit of adventure is dead within him ... he has fenced himself in, and by the same act he has fenced out God and the miracle. 
The plowed life is the life that has thrown down the protecting fences and sent the plow of confession into the soul ... such a life has put away defense and has forsaken the safety of death for the peril of life. Discontent, yearning, contrition, courageous obedience to the will of God ... these have bruised and broken the soil till it is ready again for the seed. And as always fruit follows the plow." 
- A.W. Tozer, Paths to Power