November 2021

If you grew up on a farm or if you have ever worked on a farm, you have some idea of
the vast amount of human effort required in bringing a crop to market. The harvest brings
with it a sense of pride and accomplishment at what hard work and diligence can
accomplish. And unlike so many other human efforts it also brings a strong sense of
partnership with the divine.

Years ago, The Associated Press released a study done by an agricultural school in
Iowa. Tomorrow morning when you sit down to a bowl of Corn Flakes you might
consider what God puts into an acre of grain.

4 million pounds of water,
6,800 pounds of oxygen,
5,200 pounds of carbon,
162 pounds of nitrogen,
125 pounds of potassium,
75 pounds of yellow sulphur,
50 pounds of magnesium,
50 pounds of calcium,
40 pounds of phosphorus,
2 pounds of iron.

That’s 4 million, 12 thousand, 504 pounds of chemicals. Add to this mixture warm
summer nights, and the right amount of sunshine and rain and you can begin to grasp
the kind of investment the Lord has made in your morning bowl of cereal. The report
went on to say, that only five percent of the produce of a farm can be attributed to
human effort.

I would imagine that the same ratio holds true for so many of the things we city folk do
with our lives. Out of all the things our students learn in a year, I would imagine only
five percent of it can be traced to their parents and teachers. The same thing might also
be true of the patients healed by doctors and hospitals, or the families restored through
counseling and social workers. Ninety five percent of the things we take credit for in life
is, in fact, a gift.

Art Linkletter once asked a girl named Debbie, who said she enjoyed science, “What is
salt?” Debbie replied, “Salt is what spoils the potatoes when you leave it out.” When we
rejoice in our accomplishments we need to remember what we are leaving out. Because
thankfulness is what spoils the gift when it is left out.


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