A few weeks ago I flew from St. Louis to Chicago and then on to Minneapolis. With each stop, the surroundings were the same; cement, asphalt, cars, homes, stores and warehouses, in other words–normal city “stuff”. As unremarkable as this sounds, it was actually quite profound.
See, I did not fly back to St. Louis bur rather I drove a vehicle I had flown to pick up. The difference between flying and driving was incredible to say the least. Instead of only seeing cities and thinking of all the problems cities have, I saw mainly farmland as far as the eye could see.
Many years ago a famous “know it all” wrote a bestselling book claiming that the world’s population was going to explode to the point that by the year 2000, there would be no food to feed it. Hmmm, I just made a trip where I did not so much as see one human (except in another car) for miles on end. Hmmm, I just made a trip through the fertile farmland of Iowa (and other states too), where there were thousands of acres of corn and beans in the fields.
Right now I am looking out the window at my home at the most awesome looking bean field I have ever seen in my life. These beans are such a rich shade of green and nearly 30 inches tall. Yes, this is the same field that had been planted in corn, tilled and replanted in beans in June. The point is, there is going to be an incredible harvest of beans shortly out of that field along with hundreds of others just in our county alone.
A person can sit in an ivory tower of learning, looking out on the cement world of a major city and invent a crisis. This has been proven over and over again in different realms. But, the only way to know if there really is a crisis is to climb out of that tower and get out of the concrete jungle to where the common people live. It is out there, in the thousands of tiny villages, towns and communities that the “real world” lives and moves and has their being.
When I was stuck in Chicago for an unanticipated ground delay the other day, I was struck by the number of business people using their laptops and talking on cell phones the whole time. They were oblivious to the situation and were thinking of only dollars and cents. One day later I was eating at a diner in the middle of nowhere surrounded by truckers and farmers whose only concern was the weather and the food they were eating.
Life is as complicated, messed up and hopeless as we allow it to be. Sometimes we get so caught up in what we are doing in life we forget what life is really all about. Sometimes we become so engulfed in the affairs of this life that we lose sight of the Lord who gave us a life to live. Sometimes we become so obsessed with the daily grind that we totally forget that without the Lord there is nothing in life but pride and problems.
Perhaps some of you need to take a nice long drive and get away from the pressures and warped perspective that comes from the stress of work/kids/etc. Sometimes a quiet drive through fields of plenty or the woods or up a mountain or to the beach is all it takes to refresh, rejuvenate and realign our thinking with God and His way of doing things.