Guidelines: Rain or Shine

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By Simon Ambit

The winter was filled with snow and the spring with bountiful rain storms. Now the summer has been ample with heat and sunshine and the farmed fields have been popping with lush green alfalfa. This is always a good time of year as our valley fields yield a canvas of crops. Yet, it is always a stressful time of the season for the farmer who has swathed his field into windrows.

When the alfalfa is growing and waving in the breeze prayers are sent heavenward for rain. Yet at the same time, across our small valley, another field has been freshly cut and laid down into long rows to dry in the sunshine. This field is in a crucial time and is thus being prayed dry and warm so that the moisture in the leaves and stems can be baked out of the plant. Upon ample curing, the rows are then gathered into bales under the dew of the morning and stored for future sustenance for the animals.

I wonder at times like these; at one moment we pray for rain and then within days we pray for dry. Do we amuse the heavens? As I drove along the road home today I thought about this concept and how while one prays for rain, another prays for dry. While some may be praying to find their next meal, others are fasting in thanksgiving for all their blessings. While I pray for heat, you may be asking for cold. Do we ask that we can become all that God wants of us and then turn around and pray that he takes away the test or lessons that may be teaching and growing us to that ideal?

The alfalfa that is so bounteous in our area is a resilient little plant. It is interesting to note that it yields a much better harvest when it is cut back and allowed to re-grow several times throughout the season, rather than be allowed to grow and only cut once at the end of the summer.

The words of artist Charley Jenkins in his song “That Mountain,” describe it well:

“Sometimes all we see is our slice of reality and things are not as simple as they seem to be. There’s times as hard as we pray, heaven has another way and even though there’s nothing faith can’t do, sometimes that mountain doesn’t move.”

I find that our little area of rural Utah is a fine place to live, work and play. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to raise a family here. May we be ever thankful for the storms that bring the life giving water to our reservoirs and drainages and also remember that the quality harvest of the field requires dry, hot weather and multiple cuttings. Life is good and all prayers are answered, even though it may not be in the way we expect.