About Farms and Woods

22Sep12

Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:14-17

…but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”

Matthew 19:14

Which is it? Do we want our faith to be like a child’s (as in Matthew)? Or, do we want it to be like a sword and shield (as in Ephesians)?

Hopefully a couple of images from Pro Cosara can help us better understand these opposing directions.

First, the farm. Sometimes in the course of our faith lives, we are dwelling in the farm. We are here when we know our purpose and our role. There is a community to share in the labor and the harvest. Conditions might be easier or harder; yet we are in it together. Here on the farm, the faith that God calls for from us is indeed the faithfullness of children – to receive the many blessings with thanksgiving, to praise, and to continue laboring.

But every so often we leave the farm and enter periods of faith in the woods. It might be that we find ourselves here because we are going through a transition or role change. Perhaps we are in a new place or with new people. The woods are generally a place of uncertainty and even danger, but also of diversity and growth. Here is where we need to be ready with our spiritual weapons, where our faith is like a sword and shield, to protect us against the unknown.

I think that a big challenge is to recognize when we´re in the farm and when we´re in the woods. For me personally, I need to accept that there are moments of each on the Christian journey. And, I need to learn how to better relate to people on the farm while I’m in the woods and vice versa. There can surely be peace and healing in both places, but the path is very different.

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