Cycles of giving…

Wednesday Wisdom 🙂

Today’s quote can be found in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 6:38

“Give and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount that you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Life on a farm intrinsically teaches a lesson in the cycle of giving. As Howard Buffet notes in his book, Forty Chances, a farmer has approximately 40 chances (growing cycles) over his lifetime to use his efforts to bring meaning to the world. Whether its tilling the soil or caring for a calf, as adult farmers, we each have around 40 years of contribution.

Matt and I are firmly in the middle of our forty year tenure — far enough through the process to understand fully what it means, but with enough chances left that we are inspired to constantly strive to do it better. It takes a lot of faith to farm. Diligent care for the land and our animals provides the structure to our days, but uncontrollable forces like Mother Nature can undermine our success as caretakers. The process has taught me to tenaciously give, stubbornly packing my belief that God will never let the cup run empty.

Matt giving a young Megan a lesson in water quality

We honor our resources on the farm by always getting smarter about how to use them. We work, we mature in our knowledge, and we are renewed by our dedication to the goal. A tangible example of this is the move to shift from gravity pipe irrigation to pivot technology combined with soil moisture sensors which allows us to conserve water while optimizing crop yields.

As I travel into my third decade of chances, I find myself digging deeper to better understand what it really means to give. Jesus’s instruction, “Give and you will receive”, is a very basic one. However, it also holds complexity and depth. In order to fully give, you must

  • gather as a team
  • connect as a unified group
  • contribute unselfishly

I feel as though my life has been a series of experiences where God tenaciously tries to teach me the value of giving as a team. Jesus’s words, “pressed down, shaken together to make room for more” denotes the importance of we. Giving is not a singular act. It takes both a donor and a receiver. We bring honor to the act when we work together — creating a continuous cycle rather than one independent input. The cycle perpetuates as givers become receivers and receivers become givers — when the team comes together to fill the cup.

If we only have a finite number of chances, then it behooves us to make the most of each and every one. I may have learned that lesson on the farm, but it carries over to every aspect of my life. The Holy Spirit reminds me daily that #TogetherWeAreStronger.


Filed under General, Wednesday Wisdom

4 responses to “Cycles of giving…

  1. Roger Hunt

    “In order to fully give, you must gather as a team –
    connect as a unified group – contribute unselfishly”
    Anne, your way of approaching life is a perspective different from what I am used to, and I like that. I think the core message of giving and receiving, the value of relationships, and the LOVE that binds it all together as ONE is the same in the end. I love looking through your eyes to see how you see the world! It always helps me to enrich my own life! Thank you for your gifts!!💚 Together we are more complete! 😊

    • Thank you, Roger! I so much appreciate your kind words 🙂 It’s always wonderful to hear your thoughts, and I am thankful that you find my thoughts meaningful. It helps me to process and think about things as I write, so this is a great learning journey for me as well.

      Have a great weekend!

  2. Bruce L fjellman

    In the final paragraph of your essay, you describe God as being tenacious. Well said. Having more life experience than I care to admit, I describe God as our loving creator who relentlessly pursues us. Thank you for writing boldly and passionately.

    • Thank you, Bruce – for reading and sharing. It always helps me to move forward knowing that other’s share my faith and support me on the journey. Together we are stronger!

      All the best,

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