Learning to Love the Long-Term

It’s been rather a long time since I submitted anything to this blog, and even longer since I’ve done any major work around the farm. An impromptu work day this past weekend, however, tossed me right back into the life-giving labor and provided fertile ground for some theological reflection.


Ostensibly, Saturday was to be the day that we unloaded pumpkins for the church’s upcoming pumpkin sale, but the load of assorted gourds was delayed at the previous delivery location, leaving us with a large but unoccupied labor force. Suddenly, I found myself crawling around under the eaves of the wash shed and using reclaimed plywood to deck the floor of the hayloft and lumber storage area. I was joined in this task by John, Angelo, Andrew, and Nathan, and we managed to pound quite a few nails before the pumpkins eventually arrived and we broke our backs transporting them from the trailer to the front lawn.


Some of you are now reading this and thinking, “Didn’t they start building that shed back in June?” You’d be correct. Due to a variety of factors, this shed has been one of the longest construction projects I’ve ever been a part of. But as I was thinking about that very fact this week, I realized the lesson it contained: though it may not be the most efficient use of time and energy, this shed symbolizes our commitment to the long-term future of this farm and this neighborhood.


Like growing plants, growing buildings takes time. In fact, it seems like everything worth doing in this world is a long term investment (often with little guarantee of return). Whether the task is growing food for your family or establishing lasting relationships in your neighborhood, these things take time. In a results-drive, instant gratification culture, time is not something we are often willing to spend on projects with no immediate success. And yet even that greatest of tasks – the in-breaking of the kingdom of God – is a commitment to a very long-term relationship.


Thanks be to God for sheds that reveal the kingdom.





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