Connecting by Faith

Nebraska United Methodist Foundation

My drive home takes me on a peaceful country road where I pass by fields of wheat and corn. At certain times of the year, I see a sprout just breaking through the soil, and at other times, the corn is tall enough to block my view. Sometimes, I simply see the steady light of the combine at sunset, making its way through the field, row by row.

There have been times, however, that things have not been quite as peaceful or consistent; times where the fields were so wet, I worried they would never get planted; times where drought made me fear that I would not see those tall, green, healthy-looking stalks. Often, I divert my attention to the farmhouses, where I am greeted with a nod or a quick wave, something that says ‘hello from your neighbor.’ One farmer specifically stands out to me. It doesn’t matter how busy he is, each time, I am greeted by an acknowledgement of some sort.

I remember a time in particular, when I saw, out of all of the miles around us, his land was the only area struck by a small, unexpected tornado. Even in this difficult time, I still received the polite nod or wave. In rain, shine, or post­ tornado, this simple, consistent ‘hello’ reminds me of the way farmers move through their fields and their lives. Whether it’s during a season of growth and prosperity, or whether it’s recovering from hardship, they move the same…with efficiency, steadiness, patience, and great faith. They have many fields to get to, yet they focus on what’s in front of them. The wave from this farmer amidst this post-tornadic activity demonstrates that some live by rules the rest of us know, but struggle to define; this world will present hardships, and you can identify the problem and work until you resolve it, or realize there are things out of your control and to give it to God. It’s during these times, that, as the farmer put it, “you just keep on keepin’ on.”

As I drove home this week, the radio filled my ears with the headlines of the day. The newest coronavirus statistics and the news of the bear market were a sure way to end the day in a somber mood. However, as I drove past the farmer, I knew exactly what I was going to get from him. The nod of his head to say hello reassured me of the constants in this world. We can all strive to be more like our farmers: patient, steady, calm, faithful. We can focus on the row ahead of us instead of the whole field.

Despite the farmer experiencing turmoil through the years, there will always be another growing season. Through drought, flood, or tornado, he will plant again in the spring. In our 55th year of service to you, we are here to also give you this certainty. While we can’t predict what will happen in the short-term, our long-term goals have not changed. We continue to serve you and your church through our investment services program, grants and scholarships program, and our planned giving resources. You can have confidence that we are here, by your side, to weather this storm, and provide a ‘constant’ for you and your church. And when we feel as though we can’t take another dismal headline, let’s have faith like our farmers and just “keep on keepin’ on.”

‘Jackie-Urkoski, Executive Director