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PARABLE OF AN OLD FARMER AND HIS MASSEY FERGUSON

“One cool spring morning a old man got up and opened the back door to his little farm house. It’s early in the morning and there are still a couple stars out; the grass is covered in dew. He walks over to the barn and pulls the large doors open to see his old Massey Ferguson. He walks over to the machine the smell of old grease, diesel fuel, and dust filled the air. The old man climbs on the old red rusty machine and turns the key. The motor turns over and black smoke starts billowing out from the exhaust. He puts the tractor in gear and heads toward the fields. It’s planting day.

As he drives down the dusty road he hits a bump and turns around to see some of the seed he was planting that day laying among the gravel. The old man thinks to himself, “Well there goes a lot of valuable seed.” A car drives past and runs over the spilled seed. The old man knew that soon the crows would be there to clean up the mess. He continues to drive toward his fields. As the old man gets closer he looks at all the work that had been done and he thought about the work to come as well. His field was perfectly tilled, straight lines and not a weed in sight. He pulls up to the gate and climbs down off of his machine. The dew is now soaking through his boots and he can feel the cold on his toes. He swings the gate open and pulls the Massey Ferguson into position. The old man lumbers his tractor along the rows and he starts to scatter the seed along the first row. He knows that he is getting good coverage because little bits of the seed are falling of to the side among the rocks and thorns in the ditch. He worked all day stopping only to refuel. The seed was planted.

As the weeks went by the old man would check on his field. He drove the same dusty lane as before, but this time in his pickup. He stops and looks at where he had spilled the seed before. There wasn’t anything left, not a single grain. The old man thinks to himself, “I wish those plants could have been saved,” but he just rolls his window back up and drives down to the gate that lead to the field. This time the old man backs the truck in. The tailgate groans as he sits down and looks at his work. His eyes gaze over the field and something catches his attention. There in a ditch there was some of his crop. He walks over to one of the plants, which now is brown and dead, and plucks it from between the rocks. “Not enough water,” the old man mutters to himself. Then he looks further down the ditch and notices some other of his plants but they are in among the weeds and thistles. They were brown and shriveled too. The old man knew that the other plants had taken the nutrients that his crop needed and had choked the young plants to death.

The old man stands up and walks to the top of the ditch. The sun is starting to peak over the trees and he can see his entire field. His crop had taken better than he had ever seen it. This was going to be the biggest harvest he had ever had. His crop had taken over the entire field, and the old man knew that he was looking at more plants than he could even imagine. He hadn’t planted this much, but the seed was incredibly good and so was the soil.

From a sermon by Nicolas Campbell, "Old Man and his Massey Ferguson," 6/4/2012

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