cornfields

From the middle of the cornfield the tall rows seemed to go on forever. Walking down the rows, reaching up to pluck and shuck the corn by hand, hearing the endless rustling of the dried leaves and stalks in the chill breeze, perhaps an eight year old boy could be forgiven for thinking the task would go on forever also. The John Deere Model `A’ pulled a green wooden wagon, into which we boys pitched the ears. I sometimes overshot, earning the ridicule of my older brothers. Would this job never end?

I was enthusiastic in the beginning, not knowing what I was getting myself into. Reaching the row’s end I had the momentary hope that now we could stop. But we had many more rows to cover, and soon we were lost somewhere in the middle of the field again.

We were just opening the fields so that the combine could have the room to be pulled into the fields and along the rows, but to a little boy the half-mile rows seemed endless.

Only a few years earlier no combine was available and teams of horses pulled the wagon through the field. But that was as unimaginable as having to do the whole field by hand. Somebody else with a longer view of things might say that this was an easy job now, that we should appreciate the new machines that made the task so easy, but all I could feel was the sense of being lost in the middle of cornfields and having to walk for miles, stripping one stalk at a time, throwing at least a million ears of corn into a wagon, believing I would never again sit at a supper table.

Sometimes the feeling returns. I am a little child, trying to do tasks of faithfulness one stalk at a time in the middle of an endless sea of corn, thinking that an end and a reward is beyond belief. Someone else must see the larger picture, someone who has been around a while, who knows what the corn is for, how much each bushel is worth in the scheme of things.

Are we all little children in a huge field, finding the job is well beyond us at times? Then at last we again come to the end of the row, and the sun is getting low, and Dad says it is time to head for the house and supper.

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